Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign has spent months drawing the connection between primary rival J.D. Hayworth and disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. On Monday, McCain drove the point home with his first TV ad to explicitly link the two men.
"Congressman J.D. Hayworth did favors for the infamous Jack Abramoff and his friends," the announcer says in the 30-second spot, which is airing statewide on cable and broadcast.
The McCain campaign spent the spring pressuring the former congressman to disclose the donors to the Freedom in Truth Trust (FITT), which he set up in 2008 to pay down legal bills stemming from the Abramoff lobbying scandal.
It then pivoted to hitting Hayworth on earmarks and his appearances in an infomerical for "free money" grants. It seemed to be effective -- polls have shown McCain pulling steadily ahead as the Aug. 24 primary approaches.
Hayworth released a TV ad last Friday that accused McCain of "lying" about his support for the "amnesty bill."