ABC News’ Tahman Bradley and Mike Elmore Report: A number of Democratic strategists have said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would be the best presidential candidate to help down-ballot Democrats in the fall, but a new ad set to be released by the North Carolina Republican Party could make a few candidates weary of latching onto Obama’s coattails.
The North Carolina Republican Party is trying to use the controversy surrounding Sen. Obama’s former Pastor Jeremiah Wright against Democratic gubernatorial candidates in the state.
The party is preparing to unveil a television ad which functions on two levels: paint Obama as "extreme" for attending Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where Rev. Wright made incendiary comments and knock Democrats Bev Perdue and Richard Moore for endorsing someone as "extreme" to North Carolina as Obama.
There’ s no real money behind the ad right now. NC Republican Party spokesman Brent Woodcox told ABC News the party will make a final decision about the ad buy on Monday.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, moved quickly on Wednesday to reject the ad. "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," said McCain in a letter to the North Carolina Republican Party Chair Linda Davis.
McCain demanded that Davis discontinue plans to run the ad: "It is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement."
Watch it HERE.