Even as his campaign fell far behind in the polls, Sen. John McCain refused to authorize the use of a fully-produced 30-second television commercial that criticized Barack Obama for his relationship with the controversial pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
A copy of the spot, obtained by ABC News, indicates the campaign spent the time and money necessary to produce a polished final tape, even after McCain publicly said the pastor should not be made a campaign issue and that he wanted to run a "respectful" campaign. His aides told ABC News that McCain simply decided "he did not want to touch" the Rev. Wright issue.
Would it have made a difference? Who knows. But it was a legitimate issue.
The commercial's producer, Davis, highly regarded in political media circles, told ABC News he believed the issue was not one of race but "character."
"The contrast of characters (of McCain and Obama) could have been an important part of the campaign if raised early on," Davis said.
Here is a direct link to the ad.