MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mitt Romney fired the first shot this morning with a TV ad here in the Granite State directly hitting John McCain's record. By the end of the day, McCain had responded with his own anti-Romney ad.
In Romney's ad, he went after McCain on taxes and immigration and the ad's announcer ends by saying "There is a difference" between the two.
McCain and his campaign went into response mode, culminating in a late afternoon TV adof their own which quotes New Hampshire newspaper articles praising McCain and calling Romney "a phony."
This afternoon, after a campaign event in Burlington, Iowa, and before his own ad was released, McCain laughed off Romney's ad.
"The best indicator that I'm doing very well is that when you're attacked by Romney," he said, suggesting his rise in New Hampshire polls is provoking this attention from Romney.
"And I don't know how to respond to some of it because his position may change tomorrow," he added. "Unfortunately we have to respond. This is one of a number of attacks he's made on me, but as we've gone up in the polls, these attacks have grown more, shall we say, hysterical."