Adwatch: McCain focuses on war record in latest South Carolina ad

Sen. John McCain

TITLE: "Never Surrender"

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Airing in South Carolina.

SCRIPT: Announcer: "One man sacrificed for his country. One man opposed a flawed strategy in Iraq. One man had the courage to call for change. One man didn't play politics with the truth. One man stands up to the special interests."

McCain: "Stand up. We're Americans, we're Americans and we'll never surrender, they will."

Announcer: "One man does what's right, not what's easy. John McCain."

McCain: "I'm John McCain and I approved this message."

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with familiar, black-and-white footage of McCain in a hospital bed. The Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war grimaces in a close-up and then the ad shifts to color images from the campaign trail as the announcer talks about McCain's opposition to President Bush's Iraq War strategy. One key scene shows archival footage of McCain walking and talking with President Ronald Reagan as a quote from The Union Leader, New Hampshire's statewide newspaper, flashes below: "... Americans want a leader, not a follower. No other presidential candidate has had the guts to do the same."

The ad then uses footage and audio from more recent campaign speeches layered with wild applause, and then flashes to an old photo of a smiling, younger McCain in uniform before it ends with a thoughtful, color profile shot of the candidate.

ANALYSIS: The ad continues the war record theme used by McCain throughout the campaign, and its title echoes his tour through early voting states that focused on continuing Iraq war efforts. Like many of his campaign appearances, it dwells on McCain's veteran and POW status while touching on his disagreement with the current administration over particulars of the war. Using the footage of Reagan pairs him with the former president, who has become a Republican icon in this election, and hints at McCain's longevity in politics. Interestingly, the quote from The Union Leader is taken from a complimentary editorial written in May about McCain being the lone GOP candidate to back immigration reform legislation with which the newspaper disagreed and which ultimately failed. The full comment, according to the newspaper's Web site: "McCain is gambling his political career on his belief that Americans want a leader, not a follower. So far, no other presidential candidate has had the guts to do the same." The Union Leader formally endorsed McCain earlier this month.

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Analysis by Associated Press Writer Evan Berland

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