Joe Biden's presidential campaign is unveiling its first television ad featuring Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, as the Democratic nominee seeks to gain ground with independents and disaffected Republicans in the battleground state.
In the minute-long ad, first viewed by CNN, McCain describes Biden's friendship with her late husband to make the case for the former vice president as a leader who can cross party lines and unite the country. She says Biden will always fight for America, "just like John did."
The spot, titled "Like John Did," comes a few weeks after McCain announced her endorsement of Biden. It will run statewide in Arizona beginning Saturday and nationally during "Fox News Sunday" and CBS' "60 Minutes," as well as during some football games later Sunday.
McCain, whose late husband was a war hero, argues in the testimonial ad that Biden would be a president who would honor service members and fallen soldiers.
"Now more than ever," she says, the nation needs "a president who will respect the sacrifices made by our service members and their families, a president who'll honor our fallen heroes and a president who will bring out the best in us, not the worst."
President Donald Trump has frequently attacked John McCain by name, including during his first campaign in 2015, when he said he didn't consider McCain a war hero because he preferred those who were not captured.
No Democratic presidential nominee has carried Arizona since Bill Clinton in 1996, but the Biden campaign has labeled the state as one in which it believes it can "expand" support as it considers multiple pathways to victory, and McCain, whose husband represented the state in the Senate for more than three decades, may carry some influence. She campaigned alongside Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris in her home state Thursday as part of the ticket's "Soul of the Nation" bus tour in Phoenix and Tempe.
The latest New York Times and Siena College poll shows Biden leading Trump among likely voters in Arizona by 49% to 41%.
McCain, who was featured in a video that aired during the Democratic National Convention, leaned heavily into Biden's character and empathy in her endorsement and said she is hoping to reach suburban women who may be on the fence.
"I hope that they will follow me and listen to me and know that stepping outside your comfort zone might be the right thing to do in this race," she told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview after her endorsement in late September. She said then that it's not a partisan issue, but rather, "It's an American issue."