NAACP Says GOP Ad Inserts 'Racist Sentiments' Into Election

By: Bill Wilson
By: Bill Wilson

The North Carolina branch of the NAACP says a Republican advertisement that includes a clip of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's former pastor inserts "racist sentiments" into election.

NAACP leaders blasted the North Carolina GOP on Friday for producing an ad that shows a clip of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-U.S. comments. The group said the ad takes Wright's words out of context in an effort to smear the black community and insert racist sentiments into the election.

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber compared the ad to the media campaign of 1898. The campaign preceded the race riots in Wilmington in which white supremacists overthrew the local black government.

State GOP Chairwoman Linda Daves has said the ad has nothing to do with race and that an attempt to inject race is despicable and wrong.

Dean Says McCain Lacks Leadership

The head of the Democratic party says John McCain lacks leadership by not getting a controversial TV ad pulled.

Yesterday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee asked North Carolina Republican party leaders to pull the ad. The state Republican party says it still plans to air the controversial ad against Barack Obama, Beverly Perdue and Richard Moore.

National Democratic Chairman Howard Dean today said this was a test of McCain's leadership abilities. Dean questioned if McCain can't pick up the phone and make his own party members stop running a TV ad, then how could he lead the country.

Late this afternoon, state Republican chair Linda Daves said the ad will start airing next week, “Contrary to any media reports, the ‘Extreme’ ad will run as scheduled next week. There has never been any intention to pull the ad and it will air. "


John McCain wants the North Carolina Republican Party not to air what he calls an offensive television ad.

The TV ad has not aired yet, but a preview copy that's on the party's web site says Barack Obama is "too extreme for North Carolina." The ad also says both the two Democratic front runners for governor have endorsed Obama.

In an e-mail to state party chair Linda Daves, McCain said the ad "degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats."

McCain said he implores the state party not to run the advertisement.

GOP spokesman Brent Woodcox says the ad will begin running statewide Monday.

Text of John McCain's Email

Dear Chairman Daves,

From the beginning of this election, I have been committed to running a respectful campaign based upon an honest debate about the great issues confronting America today. I expect all state parties to do so as well. The television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.

This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign. We need to run a campaign that is worthy of the people we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we will draw sharp contrasts with the Democrats on fundamental issues critical to the future course of our country. But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people.

Once again, it is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement.

John McCain

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