John McCain is denouncing the soft-money-funded, pro-McCain ads running in South Carolina, releasing the following statement:
"I have long opposed the use of soft money by independent groups trying to influence elections. It is a position I hold without reservation. Anyone who believes they could assist my campaign by exploiting a loophole in campaign finance laws is doing me and our country a disservice. I ask all of my donors and supporters, including Mr. Reed, to cease and desist immediately from supporting any independent expenditures that might be construed as benefiting my campaign indirectly. If you respect me or my principles, I urge you to refrain from using my name and image in any ads or other activities. I will not win this election, nor would I want to win it, by acquiescing in anyone’s attempt to put my campaign before my principles. I will run on my principles, my record, and my vision for our country, and I will trust the voters to make the right decision. I will never betray my trust to them or my own conscience for the sake of expediency, and I want all who support me to honor that commitment."