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Johnny Isakson's second ad focuses on bipartisan work to secure money for Iran hostages

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is once again focusing on what he's been able to accomplish on Capitol Hill by crossing the aisle in his second ad of the election cycle.

The Republican's new ad highlights his work securing a payout last year for the families of the 52 hostages that were held in Iran for 444 days beginning in 1979. But it also takes a moment to ding President Barack Obama for delivering hundreds of millions of dollars of cash to Iran the same day four Americans were released from detention there, a transaction critics say looks eerily like a ransom payment.

Here's a transcript:

“In 1979, Americans were taken hostage by a radical Islamic regime.

“For over a year, America prayed.

“When released, the hostages were unable to seek compensation.

“Many forgot. Not Johnny Isakson.

“So, while President Obama was paying ransom to Iran, Senator Isakson ensured that the ayatollahs and their business associates would finally pay back our American hostages, bringing some closure, and proving that America never forgets.

After working on the issue for years, Isakson, working with New York's two Democratic senators, was able to tuck up to $4.4 million for the families into the year-end government spending bill Congress passed last December.

The ad fits with the bipartisan theme of his first spot of the cycle, which highlighted his work in the Senate to protect Peace Corps volunteers.

It's in Isakson's interest to reach out to Democrats, independents and other non-Republicans as he looks to avoid a costly and tiring runoff that would occur if he secures less than 50 percent of the vote this November.

Real Clear Politics puts Isakson ahead of his Democratic challenger Jim Barksdale by an average of 12 percentage points. Libertarian Allen Buckley is also in the race.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.