Skip to comments.Dust-Up Continues Over Bush's Ads (9/11 Ad-gate bombshell: How Damaging?)
Posted on 03/05/2004 12:25:56 PM PST by JohnHuang2
Dust-Up Continues Over Bush's Ads: President Bushs re-election advertising campaign kicked off yesterday with negative publicity as family members of the victims of September 11 claim that the president is exploiting images of the tragedy for political gain. The 16-state, two-week, $10.5 million barrage of ads includes "Safer, Stronger," which shows pictures of a destroyed World Trade Center and firefighters carrying a flag draped body, and "Tested" which also shows the same images of the WTC. Excerpted--click for full article.
9/11 Ad-gate bombshell: How Damaging?
In a bombshell controversy that has the media reeling in shock, Democrats -- especially those who have endorsed Sen. John Francois Kerry -- do not approve of President Bush's first campaign commercials (Darn! I had high hopes otherwise), complaining that the TV ads outrageously do not ignore the most important event of this century, the attacks of September 11th, which triggered two wars and has come to define the Bush Presidency itself. And shaped the lives of only 280 million Americans. (Bush should stick with issues the media says Americans really care about -- such as why he missed some Guard drills in Alabama only 31 years ago).
As if mentioning 9/11 was not outrageous enough, the ads cast Bush as a leader, showcasing him in a favorable light and appear to advocate his re-election. Even more outrageous, the spots, which began airing yesterday in 17 key states and on national cable networks, are mostly positive, outlining the President's impressive achievements and plans for the future. More damning still, the ads do not praise Sen. Kerry -- indeed, no mention is made of Sen. Kerry, nor of the fact that Kerry served in Vietnam (Yes, Kerry served in Vietnam. You heard it here first, folks).
But horror erupted in the media over allusion in the ads to 9/11. In one ad, it was the image showing the scorched remains of the World Trade Center. The image drags on for several milliseconds. Then it's on to other subjects. Amid the fury sparked by Bush's scandalous refusal to avoid any mention of 9/11, the deadliest attack in U.S. history, the non-partisan International Association of Fire Fighters Union (which is so non-partisan, it has endorsed Kerry for president), demanded on Thursday that the Bush campaign pull the ads 3 weeks ago. (Why can't Bush be more like Kerry, who never mentions Vietnam, to avoid exploiting war for political purposes?) Meeting in Bal Harbour, Florida, the group, which denies any political motives except to elect Kerry as president, approved a resolution blasting the President, "who doesn't hesitate to exploit 9/11 in his ads, even as he tries to keep 9/11 orphans and widows in the dark about what really happened."
Oh, wait, that was Maureen Dowd on Wednesday -- before the ads began airing. And before the earthshaking controversy over the ads spontaneously 'erupted'. (Move on, nothing to see here; it's just a coincidence).
Amid NO complaints about the ads among 2,970 of the 3,000 9/11 families, a groundswell of 13 or 14 have voiced their outrage that Bush should mention 9/11 this election year. They call it unconscionable that Bush in the ads should mention that our nation recently has faced "Some challenges . . . like no others." Even more abominable and disgraceful, the ad claims "America rose to the challenge." Crossing the line further, the ad asserts "Freedom, faith, families and sacrifice" helped America see through those tough times, when everyone knows it was images of John F. Kerry speaking from the Senate floor, and Sen. Hillary! waving a copy of 'BUSH KNEW!' that soothe America during those dark days. "Clearly the public demands answers immediately," said Hillary! then, rallying America behind her. "I believe that getting the facts out would be the very best response to this troubling mess." Critics demanded a full probe of possible Bush links to al-Qaeda.
Harold Schaitberger, president of I.A.F.F., which non-partisanly supports Kerry, called Bush's referencing 9/11 in the ads disgraceful. (All rights to 9/11 reserved. 9/11 material may not be mentioned, broadcast or written about without the prior explicit consent of Harold Schaitberger. Especially if your name is George W. Bush). He ripped Bush for "trading on the heroism" of firefighters. Bush seems to think 9/11 was an act of war, an attack on all America, rather than a personal, private matter involving only 9/11 families, the firefighters, and al-Qaeda. And, oh, the New York Port Authority, sued for negligence. Presidents need not meddle in people's affairs like that. What an outrage! say critics. For Bush to mention 9/11 this election year is "a slap in the face for the 3,000 murdered people," said widow Monica Gabrielle, party to the lawsuit against the Port Authority. (Why meddle with ordinary murder cases, Mr. Bush? Don't meddle in things that don't concern you!) She also blasted the President for refusing to cooperate fully with the 9/11 commission, because clearly Bush was involved in 9/11. (hmmm, exactly what Maureen Dowd wrote Wednesday. Another coincidence!) Critics charge Bush has "done everything in his power to thwart investigation into the death of 3,000 people." While critics probe for proof linking Bush to al-Qaeda, Bush has done everything in his power to thwart the death of another 3,000 people, beating the crap out of al-Qaeda, killing or capturing two-thirds of al-Qaeda leaders. Democrats and al-Qaeda hotly deny the claim.
Meanwhile, the White House defended the ads, accused of being positive, hopeful, upbeat (and never mentioning that Kerry served in Vietnam!) "Sept. 11th was not just a distant tragedy, it's a defining event for the future of our country," Karen Hughes, key Bush adviser, told CBS's Early Show Thursday. It was outrageous enough for Bush to call Iran, Iraq and North Korea an axis of evil, but Bush appears buoyant about America, leaving Democrats seething.
Bush in recent weeks has seen his approval ratings cascade down to where Reagan's were at this point in his presidency (and we all know what a drubbing Reagan got at the hands of Landslide Mondale that year).
My Two Cents...
President Bush doesn't need a permission slip from the Democrats before he runs his campaign ads.
First it was the AWOL thing, now this.
What a joke.
Is that true? We were wondering about that on another thread, since the reaction was so immediate. If so, how did they get an advance copy 3 weeks before they aired? I smell a Demo-rat trying to pee in our Wheaties...
Not at all. Using these images now lets the "furor" over them get spent now. Bush then can continue using the ads all the way to election day.
Bring it on!!!