Sen. Barack Obama’s landing at Chicago’s Midway airport this evening was greeted with the news that rival Sen. John McCain launched a new TV ad attacking Obama for that canceled visit to see wounded troops in Germany.
Obama told me earlier today that the trip was canceled because of "a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political. And the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns."
McCain’s ad asserts that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras."
The McCain campaign provides no evidence for the assertion that being told he couldn’t bring media had anything to do with the trip’s cancellation.
Oddly, when discussing Obama’s trip to the gym, the ad uses footage of Obama playing basketball with US troops in Kuwait over the weekend.
UPDATE: Obama campaign spokeswoman Linda Douglass says, “We told military officials explicitly that Senator Obama had absolutely no intention of bringing any members of the media or photographers in with him to visit the wounded warriors. In all of our communications with the military, we stressed that this was to be a private visit by Senator Obama.”