6 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses
Ever wonder what former Bush ad men Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer were working on before they left an imploding John McCain to work for the well-heeled Mitt Romney?
You no longer have to wonder.
The Arizona senator's cash-strapped -- but McSurging -- campaign has handed the on-the-shelf spot to Slate's John Dickerson, making free media pick-up possible.
Watch it here.
"The ad hangs Romney with his own words," writes Dickerson, "he advocates for a woman's right to choose and gun control, gets tongue tied on his own hunting practices, and distances himself from Ronald Reagan."
"What makes the ad particularly powerful for the McCain team," Dickerson adds, "is that it was produced by media wizards who now work for Romney."
Schriefer is seeking to minimize the damage to Romney by saying in a statement that they tested the spot (after going to work for Romney) but "it wasn't effective."
Per ABC's John Berman, the Slate Hand-Off came on the same day that Mitt Romney took the extraordinary step of releasing two different negative television ads about two different candidates in two different states.
In Iowa, Romney is going after Mike Huckabee. LINK
In New Hampshire, the target is John McCain. LINK
McCain is not simply relying on the Slate Hand-Off.
His campaign is putting money behind an anti-Romney ad which will air in New Hampshire.
The ad quotes the Concord Monitor editorial saying, "If a candidate is a phony: we'll know it."
After learning about McCain's ad Friday evening, Romney promptly took to his press bus for an impromptu media availability.
Romney told reporters that he has worked hard in his ad to focus on issues (in McCain's case, his stances on taxes and immigration).
"I make no attacks on his character, no attacks of a personal nature whatsoever," said Romney. "I've just seen the text of his ad and it is obvious of a very different nature. It's an attack ad. It attacks me personally. It's nasty. It's mean spirited. Frankly, it tells you more about Sen. McCain than it does about me that he would run an ad like that. "
View the ad here.
Edwards Spanks Axelrod
Gen. Wesley Clark, a Clinton supporter, is not the only one reprimanding Obama strategist David Axelrod for seeming to link the 2002 Iraq vote to Thursday's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. LINK
Axelrod was also criticized Friday by 2004 client John Edwards (who, like Clinton, voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002). LINK
"It's ridiculous," Edwards told ABC News' Jake Tapper. "It's a ridiculous stretch. I think in times of international crisis – which this clearly is – what America needs to be doing and serious presidential candidates need to be doing is providing an atmosphere of strength and clam. We need to be a calming influence and not stoking the fire and certainly not talking about the politics of this."
Tapper's interview, which includes talk of Obama living in 'Never-Never Land,' will be featured Friday on "Nightline."
Huckabee Hammered on Foreign Policy:
Mike Huckabee is being hammered from the right -- and the left -- on foreign policy in general and Pakistan in particular.
Fred Thompson criticized him Friday for initially offering apologies -- rather than sympathies -- to the people of Pakistan.