John McCain's campaign created a commercial slamming Barack Obama for his relationship with inflammatory pastor Jeremiah Wright. The 30-second spot, obtained by ABC News, contrasts McCain's years in a Vietnam POW camp with footage of Wright shouting "God damn America." The commercial was ready for release and even includes the tag, "I'm John McCain and I approve this message."
Many in the McCain campaign, including Sarah Palin, encouraged the candidate to attack Obama for his past with Wright, particularly as the campaign faltered. But McCain refused, leaving third-party advertisers to produce their own spots. Steve Schmidt, McCain's chief campaign strategist, said that the candidate "never saw the ad and it was never considered for air, period."