MoveOn to Spend $200k on Ad Hitting McCain for Lobbyist Ties

MoveOn.org has a new ad going after John McCain for having lobbyists for oil companies on his campaign.

In the spot, clips of McCain saying his trademark phrase, "My friends," are followed by photos of campaign advisers Charlie Black, Randy Scheunemann and others. The photos run next to the word, "Lobbyist," and the company they have lobbied for. Black has lobbied for Occidental Petroleum while Scheunemann has lobbied for BP.

The ad, paid for by MoveOn's political action committee, will air on national cable channels and on channels in battleground states. The group will spend at least $200,000 to air the spot.

The new ad buy reflects an increased role for interest groups in the campaign. As The New York Times reported Tuesday, those groups are increasing efforts to aid Obama and John McCain. Obama earlier this year discouraged Democratic donors from giving to the groups, which he can't work directly with because of campaign finance laws.

UPDATE: Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant e-mailed a response to the ad, highlighting Obama's ties to controversial Chicago political figures.

"Barack Obama has 'friends' of his own, including unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers who helped launch his political career, convicted felon Tony Rezko who helped purchase his home, and his campaign's chief strategist who at one point had the biggest lobby contract in New York state history," Conant wrote in the statement. "As Obama's star starts to fade, his special-interest friends are responding to his campaign's pleas for help."

Watch MoveOn's ad below.