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New Ad Casts McCain as Tough on Terrorism

Pro-McCain ad comes as the Arizona senator attempts to define his race on national security and fend off primary opponents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 2:30 p.m. | In a move to highlight Arizona Sen. John McCain’s national security credentials in this election year, a political action committee backing his campaign for re-election has launched a large television advertising campaign, Roll Call has learned.  

The new commercial  by a pro-McCain group, A Secure Arizona, will target Republican primary voters on air and online as the fifth-term lawmaker attempts to define his race on the issue of national security and fend off primary opponents in a contest that already features former state Sen. Kelli Ward.  Over clips of ambulances in Paris following the November terrorist attacks there and of the shot-up vehicle used by terrorists in San Bernardino, Calif., a narrator in the spot says, “Obama doesn’t understand the threat” of groups such as the Islamic State, and attempts to contrast the president’s approach to McCain’s own.  

“John McCain will fight to protect Arizonans,” the narrator says. “John McCain: keeping Arizona safe.”  

The statewide ad buy, which will run through the end of January, is the first of its kind by pro-McCain groups this year. In addition to placement online, a Republican ad tracker told Roll Call the group has put up about $90,000 for the three-week campaign, with 15 spots a week on Fox News, many of whose viewers vote in Republican primaries, and another 10 to 15 on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and A&E.  

The Arizona Senate race, where the Republican primary winner is likely to face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, is rated Favored Republican by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.

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