Bush Attack Ad Is Questioned
With a new advertisement that accuses Sen. John F. Kerry of viewing terrorism as a "nuisance," President Bush is continuing his push to depict his Democratic opponent in a harshly negative light.
But some analysts warned Monday that his campaign was playing loose with the facts - and that the attack could backfire.
The new ad, which began appearing late Sunday on national cable stations, has drawn protests from the Kerry campaign and other critics, who say the Bush camp took a line out of context from a recent newspaper interview with the Massachusetts senator.
Some critics said the ad followed a pattern of the president distorting his rival's record on taxes, healthcare and other matters in an attempt to portray him as too liberal and unfit to lead the fight against terrorism.
They said the pattern began after polls showed the race tightening and after Bush stumbled during his first debate with Kerry.
Kerry has also been accused of distortions in his attacks on Bush. But Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who is not working for the Bush campaign, said Bush's attacks could wind up hurting the president by undermining his credibility.
"The Bush campaign did an effective job creating questions about Sen. Kerry's credibility that led them to a double-digit lead" in several national polls in early September, Fabrizio said. "But it would be a shame if that knife were turned on them because they pushed the envelope too far with ads like they released" Sunday.
Marshall Wittman, a former aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who is a registered independent and recently joined the Democratic Leadership Council, said of the new ad: "They want to demonize the opposition by any means necessary, and if that means distorting one sentence in an 11,000-word article, then so be it."
On the campaign trail Monday, Bush appeared to backtrack a bit from the new ad. He continued to criticize Kerry's choice of the word "nuisance," but noted that the Democrat had used it in the context of trying to diminish terrorism.
Tuesday, October 12
Bush's Latest Ad Makes EVERYONE Uneasy
And it ain't just Democrats. The little crackhead may have gone over the line in approving this message...
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 8:01 AM