McCain Staffer on Democrats' Attack Ad

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This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," August 22, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

E.D. HILL, HOST: A new Web video put out by Florida Democrats is lashing out at McCain. It actually features Cindy McCain. And John McCain is angry about it, calling it outrageous to include his wife in this continuous back-and-forth. But Obama should understand the outrage on the GOP side over the video. Even he himself once said that attacks on his wife are infuriating.

McCain's communications director, Jill Hazelbaker is here with us tonight.

Video: Watch E.D. Hill's interview

Thanks for being with us.


HILL: Well, you know, we always hope for a campaign where you don't have this sort of stuff, but it always seems to come out there. Was anyone really surprised?

HAZELBAKER: Well, the issue here, E.D., is hypocrisy. Senator Obama said that he would personally condemn any attacks on wives in this election. So, we hope that he holds himself to the standard that he has already set. You know, Barack Obama has a tendency to slip away from statements that he's already made. So, we want to make sure he's held accountable on this instance.

HILL: Well, let's see if he comes out with a statement.

Now, let's talk about the V.P. picks. We were just talking about Obama's possible selection, and John McCain also came out and sort of clarified what he was looking for and he said that the stance on abortion is crucial for the number two. Does that mean we can definitely rule out certain people?

HAZELBAKER: Well, Senator McCain is making the choice for himself, I'm very confident that he is going to choose someone who can govern, who can step in, and who can be president. But I'm going to leave that choice to him. Everybody is anxious for the speculation to come to an end, and I don't think we have long now.

HILL: Is there a bit of difficulty getting John McCain out there? You know, he had this big boost coming off of the Rick Warren discussions -- by the way, that's going to ill be re-aired here on FOX this weekend, so no one wants to miss that -- but then, all of a sudden, everything is about Obama again. What does he have to do to get the attention?

HAZELBAKER: Well, I think it's natural that heading into one candidate's convention, there's a lot of attention focused on that particular candidate. But we feel very good about where we are in this race. It's an incredibly close race. We feel we're in a strong position heading into the fall. And we're going to keep talking to Americans about John McCain is the best candidate that keep them safe and keep them working. We're very confident at the position that we're in.

HILL: Do you think that John McCain is going to wait until he finds out who Barack Obama's pick is and that that may, at the very last minute, influence his decision?

HAZELBAKER: Well, we've been successful at not talking about the vice presidential selection process. So, I'm going to leave it there. I'm confident in the pick that he'll make.

HILL: You may leave it there, we'll continue talking about it though. Thanks so much for being with us.


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