John McCain: Senator, Navy pilot, war hero ... lobbyist?

A John McCain ad attacks J.D. Hayworth for suggesting that McCain's stint as a Navy liaison to the Senate meant he worked as a lobbyist.

The primary isn't until Aug. 24, 2010, but the two Republicans facing off in this fall's U.S. Senate race -- John McCain, the incumbent, and J.D. Hayworth, the former House member who's challenging him -- are already engaged in bare-knuckled combat in their campaign ads.

It all began in June, when McCain produced an ad that hits Hayworth for serving as a lobbyist. "J.D. Hayworth says he's an outsider, but after he was voted out of Congress he became a registered lobbyist," the narrator intones in the McCain ad. "Hayworth was paid thousands by a Florida corporation to lobby the very committee he used to serve on." When we analyzed the ad, we found disclosure forms filed with Congress that confirmed that Hayworth served as a lobbyist, so we ruled the statement True.

In response, the Hayworth camp tried to label McCain as a onetime lobbyist, too -- a charge that McCain proceeded to attack in a second ad. In this item, we'll check the charge made by the Hayworth camp that was cited in McCain's second ad.

McCain's second ad revolves around footage showing an unnamed Hayworth spokesman saying, "Sen. McCain started out as a lobbyist in Washington when in 1976 he was the liaison for the Navy to the United States Senate."

McCain? A lobbyist? We decided to check it out.