August 24, 2004


New Bush Ads Target Kerry's Senate Record (Nick Anderson, August 24, 2004, LA Times)

President Bush assailed John F. Kerry's record as a senator in two new television commercials Monday, amid ongoing controversy over other Republican-backed attacks on the Democratic presidential nominee's record during the Vietnam War.

One of the new Bush advertisements, airing on national cable channels and in local broadcast markets in several key states, depicts Kerry as a longtime backer of tax increases for the middle-class. The other, airing in Nevada, says he has cast votes in favor of a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. [...]

Today, the Swift Boat Veterans group is expected to air another ad charging that Kerry tarred the service of other Vietnam veterans through his antiwar protests in the early 1970s.

The group is funded primarily by Texas Republicans who are Bush supporters, which has caused the Kerry campaign to charge it is a "front" for the president's reelection bid. Bush and his aides have strongly denied any such connection.

But the president's campaign has intensified its advertising attacks on Kerry, focusing on his record since he was first elected to the Senate almost 20 years ago.

New data from TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group show Bush spent more than $12 million on TV ads from Aug. 8 through Saturday, while other Kerry critics spent nearly $1 million more. "A fairly good one-two punch," said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of the ad monitoring group.

During the same two weeks, Kerry spent almost nothing, saving money for September and October. But his cause was helped by various pro-Democratic groups that, although independent of his campaign, spent nearly $19 million promoting him and attacking Bush.

The new Bush ad targeting Kerry's tax policy uses footage from the Democrat's speech last month accepting the presidential nomination. The 30-second spot shows Kerry saying, "We won't raise taxes on the middle class."

"Really?" responds the ad's female narrator. "John Kerry's voted to raise gas taxes on the middle class 10 times. He supported a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase. Higher taxes on middle-class parents 18 times. He voted to raise taxes on Social Security benefits. Ninety-eight votes for tax increases. There's what Kerry says, and then there's what Kerry does."

Kerry did vote for a major 1993 tax bill that included provisions raising taxes on gasoline and Social Security benefits for certain retirees. And he has often opposed GOP-sponsored tax cuts.

Note the $19 million to $1 million ratio? Is the Senator sure he wants to bar all 527 ads? No wonder Kim Jong-il dreams of negotiating with him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2004 8:40 AM

Bush is right to focus on Kerry's senate record. He appears above the fray regarding the Vietnam spat and there are plenty of targets in Kerry's senate career.
NV - interesting they are focusing on the Yucca mountain issue - I read Bush was vulnerable in NV over this issue so maybe they are just trying to neutralize it by saying Kerry did it as well.
And OJ is correct - note the huge difference in spending by outside groups.

Posted by: AWW at August 24, 2004 9:26 AM

"You bet I might have."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 24, 2004 10:44 AM