McCain’s green side trumpeted

In a new campaign ad airing in Nevada, Republican presidential candidate John McCain vows to tackle global warming and stresses his differences with President Bush on the issue.

The ad, titled “Global,” was released Tuesday and is airing statewide on broadcast television in Nevada, a state that is among the campaign’s top targets for November. It’s airing in 10 other battleground states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

McCain is scheduled to visit Nevada next week. In addition to a private fundraiser in the Southern Highlands development, McCain plans to appear at the campaign’s newly opened headquarters in Henderson and make remarks the morning of June 25, according to the campaign.

Over images of clotted traffic and an ominously setting sun, a female voice narrates the ad, saying, “John McCain stood up to the president and sounded the alarm on global warming five years ago. Today, he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions, a plan that will help grow our economy and protect our environment.”

The ad coincides with a weeklong emphasis on energy policy by the Arizona senator, who on Tuesday gave a speech on the issue in Houston. Earlier this week, McCain’s announcement that he would support more domestic oil drilling was decried by environmentalists.

The ad signals the appeal that environmental messages are believed to hold in this election, especially with moderate voters, and the degree to which McCain will distance himself from Bush.

“This speaks to the larger issue of Senator McCain’s ability to reach across the aisle and find bipartisan solutions for America’s problems,” campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said of the 30-second commercial.

The ad ends with an image of McCain in a baseball cap and untucked shirt against a backdrop of mountains and trees, and the slogan, “Reform. Prosperity. Peace.”

It’s the second general election message broadcasted by McCain in Nevada. The previous ad featured the candidate talking about his family’s experiences in wartime.

Democrats fired back by calling the ad misleading, noting that McCain’s position on offshore drilling is a reversal from where he previously stood and that he has voted against renewable energy legislation in Congress.

“How can we trust John McCain to confront soaring gas prices or break America’s dependence on foreign oil when he caved in to Big Oil on drilling and tax breaks? … One of his top economic advisors helped create the problem in the first place, and he has repeatedly opposed incentives for green jobs and renewable energy,” Karen Finney, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in a party news release.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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