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McCain To Cut Ad's Cemetery Scenes

Associated Press
Thursday, November. 11, 1999

Republican presidential candidate John McCain will redesign his campaign's biographical television ad to remove footage of Arlington National Cemetery.

The Army said Monday that the Arizona senator's campaign did not request permission to film him at the cemetery, and if it had, the request would have been denied because partisan activity is banned at all Army installations.

McCain said Tuesday his campaign erred by not requesting permission.

On Wednesday, he sent a letter to the Army saying the scenes would be cut. "I have asked my campaign to redesign the ad to omit the relevant footage so as not to detract from my reverence for those who served," McCain wrote.

McCain, a naval aviator, was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war. He is the son and grandson of Navy admirals, both of whom are buried in Arlington.

McCain said he has tried to highlight veterans' issues in his presidential campaign.

"In the course of my campaign for president I have hoped to bring attention to the tremendous contribution of those who wear the uniform of our armed forces," McCain wrote. "I have the greatest admiration for the service and sacrifice they give our country."

Mike Dennehy, McCain's New England political director, said it will take several days to get the revised commercial to television stations.