ABC News' Matt Stuart reports: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney fired heated words back at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in response to an ad McCain began airing in New Hampshire, which itself was a response to an ad attacking McCain.
“It's an attack ad. It attacks me personally. It's nasty. It's mean spirited. Frankly, it tells you more about Sen. McCain than it does about me that he would run an ad like that,” Romney said while speaking with reporters somewhere between Missouri Valley, Iowa and Council Bluffs. The campaign held an impromptu meeting on the bus between events.
Romney continued, arguing that McCain's ad had "no place in this process." "I must admit that the McCain ad was, well it was reminiscent of what he did against George W. Bush in 2000 which is, you recall, he accused President Bush of twisting the truth like Bill Clinton and again this is the kind of nasty, personal attack which really doesn’t have a place in this process."
Hearing of Romney’s statement, McCain claimed that Romney started the attacks and commented, “Try to relax, Mitt.”
The McCain ad, which began airing in New Hampshire Friday, uses excerpts from endorsements in the New Hampshire Union Leader and Concord Monitor calling Romney a “phony” and suggests he doesn’t tell the truth.
Romney continues to insist that his ads are "contrasts," while McCain's is an "attack ad."