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From Willie Horton to windsurfing: Five top political attack ads

Political attacks ads: love 'em or hate 'em, but they’re here to stay, and this election year stands to be a watershed moment in their use. Here's a look at what are considered to be some of the most memorable and effective attack ads utilized over the years. 

- Mike EckelContributor

2. 'Playing games with the military'

WHAT: “McGovern Defense” 

WHEN: 1972

WHO: Sen. George McGovern (D) of South Dakota vs. President Richard M. Nixon (R)

BACKGROUND: Former Treasury Secretary John Connally created an organization called “Democrats for Nixon” to campaign against McGovern. This ad, coming with the Vietnam War still raging, focused on McGovern’s proposed cutbacks to military spending. It was one of several hard-hitting spots that sought to use McGovern’s statements against him, and helped lead to Nixon a landslide defeat of him.


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