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.
While some conservatives will, no doubt, think this is a sign of wimpiness, I see it as sagaciousness: McCain stays on the high road in the eyes of the hoi polloi, while the negative stuff still gets out to the media.
I am not suggesting that this is done pro forma with a wink and a nod -- I truly believe McCain considers this to be infra dig and wants them to stop running this. And in the case of a GOP organization, McCain may in fact be able to force them to stop running it. But when it comes to outside groups -- who are sure to run these types of ads -- McCain won't have much of a say in the matter ...
This is not the first time McCain has taken the high road when it comes to negative campaigning, and it certainly won't be the last time.