New York, Aug 9 : Republican presidential candidate John McCain stole a page from Hillary Clinton's playbook, recycling her greatest primary hits against Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
In a new ad titled "Praising McCain," his team ran clips of Democrats lauding the Arizona senator's maverick independence - topped by this classic Clinton punch from March 3: "I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
Despite the past snark attack, a Clinton spokeswoman insisted, "Hillary was very clear during the primaries, and ever since - after eight years of failed policies, she and Barack Obama want a new direction while John McCain will offer more of the same. It's funny how he neglected to include those words in his ad."
But the intense primary rivalry between Obama and Team Clinton threatened to carry over to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Both sides dithered over whether her name should be placed in nomination and what role Bill Clinton would have.
Clinton's Senate colleague, Chuck Schumer, urged the Obama campaign to be tougher on McCain, especially in responding to the Republican's attacks.
"I thought the Britney Spears commercial was powerful," Schumer told the Politico Web site, referring to the McCain spot mocking Obama as a vacuous celebrity.
Meanwhile, the McCain campaign plans to return tens of thousands of dollars in donations pulled in by Mustafa Abu Naba'a, the Jordanian business partner of high-profile Florida Republican Harry Sargeant 3rd.