Ron Fournier of the Associated Press has spun the story to Bush’s benefits. The pro-Bush tone of the article is in keeping with some of Fournier’s past stories.

President Bush and Sen. John Kerry bowed to the wishes of popular maverick John McCain on Thursday, as the president embraced the Republican senator’s legal fight against big-money special interest groups airing negative ads and the Democratic nominee scrapped a commercial that …features four-year-old footage of McCain accusing Bush of smear tactics in their bitterly contested 2000 GOP primary race.

…Three weeks ago, the Arizona senator asked Bush to condemn the anti-Kerry ad. This week, he asked Kerry to withdraw the anti-Bush ad.

With their actions Thursday, Bush and Kerry satisfied McCain’s demands.

Why on earth did Kerry pull the ad? If the President’s response was all that it took to mollify McCain, then Kerry lost that gamble. It would have been better for Kerry’s campaign to tell McCain that unless Bush denounced the SWBFT ad and called it a lie, then Kerry would continue to run the ad with McCain.

Editor’s Note: This post was edited from the original for clarity and spelling.