NEW ORLEANS North Carolina's Republican Party on Thursday withdrew an advertisement critical of Democrat Barack Obama's links to a controversial preacher, Republican John McCain's campaign said.
McCain senior adviser Charlie Black said he had been informed by the Republican National Committee's representative in North Carolina, that the state party had agreed to withdraw the ad.
McCain, the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, had appealed to the state party to withdraw the ad, saying he wanted to run a respectful campaign.
Obama has come under fire for attending a Chicago church for two decades where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was pastor. Wright has drawn criticism for statements including saying the U.S. government spread the AIDS virus to black Americans. He has since retired.
The 30-second ad in question attacked Democratic North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Beverly Perdue and Richard Moore for their endorsements of Obama, referring to the Illinois senator's "judgment" in supporting Wright and calling him "too extreme for North Carolina."
North Carolina is one of two states holding the next crucial Democratic primaries on May 6 in the tight race between Obama and Hillary Clinton to oppose McCain in the November presidential election.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott)
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at blogs.reuters.com/trail08/ )