The national committee tasked with protecting a Republican majority in the House has begun airing an ad in an Arizona congressional district that uses video of the late Sen. John McCain to attack the Democratic nominee in the race.
The ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee, airing in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, uses straight to camera footage from McCain's successful 2016 run against Ann Kirkpatrick, who was at the time challenging the Republican's Arizona Senate seat. In the video, McCain faults Kirkpatrick for not opposing higher taxes and federal spending.
"Ann Kirkpatrick won't oppose higher taxes, she won't oppose more federal spending and she won't oppose increased debts that slow economic growth," McCain says.
A narrator then jumps in: "In 2016, Senator McCain warned us. ... Arizona rejected Kirkpatrick before. It is time to do it again."
Kirkpatrick is running against Republican Lea Marquez Peterson, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber CEO, in the race to replace Rep. Martha McSally in the southern Arizona district. McSally is the Republican nominee for Senate.
An aide to Kirkpatrick said the ad was "tacky" and questioned the decision to use "old footage from someone who was buried a week ago."
A spokeswoman for McCain did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for the NRCC defended the ad, arguing that the spot "speaks for itself."
It's not the first spot that has featured McCain to run after his death.
Tom Malinowski, a Democrat running to represent New Jersey's 7th Congressional District, released an ad on Wednesday that featuring video McCain praising the former US assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama during his confirmation hearing.
"This is a contribution Tom made most of all in the fight here in Congress to end torture and I am forever grateful to him for that," says McCain, who was tortured for five years in a North Vietnamese prison. Before McCain speaks in the ad, soft music plays with a slate that reads, "Forever Grateful."
But Republicans slammed the New Jersey Democrat for running the ad shortly after McCain's passing.
"For Tom Malinowski to use Senator John McCain's kind words in a political advertisement to imply support for Malinowski in his race against Congressman Leonard Lance is wrong, and he should immediately take the commercial down," said Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "To wait until the passing of Senator McCain to release a political ad featuring his kind words, and implying support for Malinowski, a claim that McCain is no longer here to refute, is disgusting."
Neil Strauss, a spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, said that the NRCC ad is "wholly inbounds," despite their statement about the Malinowski spot.
"These are very different issues," he said. "We know that John McCain didn't think Ann Kirkpatrick would be a good representative of the people of Arizona. We know that Senator McCain disagreed with Kirkpatrick on almost every important policy position at issue in the AZ02 race."