Skip to comments.GOP wants Daschle-Bush hug pulled (Daschle campaign's response - 'sorry, Charlie')
Posted on 09/04/2004 7:19:29 PM PDT by Libloather
GOP wants Daschle-Bush hug pulled
By Denise Ross, Journal Staff Writer
Last Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2004 8:14 AM MDT
The Republican National Committee doesn't want to see that warm embrace shared by President Bush and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., eight days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
At least they don't want to see it in Daschle's re-election TV ad that went on the air a week ago. An RNC lawyer fired off a "cease and desist" missive to the Daschle campaign Tuesday afternoon.
"You are using the picture in a manner that could create the misleading impression that President Bush supports your campaign," wrote RNC counsel Charles R. Spies. "As you are no doubt aware, President Bush has not indicated any support for your campaign, and in fact has endorsed your opponent, John Thune. The implication from your advertisement that President Bush supports you is false and misleading."
The Daschle campaign's response? Sorry, Charlie.
"We have absolutely no intention to stop running the ad," said Daschle campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer. "No reasonable person who has seen the ad would have the same interpretation as the Republican National Committee."
The footage of the hug takes up no more than 3 seconds in a 60-second ad about Daschle's bipartisan leadership in the wake of the attacks, Pfeiffer said.
"The ad is about a very specific and important time in recent history," Pfeiffer said. "After 9-11, Republicans and Democrats put partisanship aside and came together. Sen. Daschle played a key role in that time as leader of the Democrats. That moment captured in the ad embodies that time."
The ad also features post-attack footage from Capitol Hill, including a Daschle appearance with Republican congressional leaders, and it includes praise for Daschle from Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
Pfeiffer said Thune evoked Daschle in two of his campaign ads in his unsuccessful 2002 race against Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. One ad was about work the state's congressional delegation had done to bring a national science lab to Homestake Mine in Lead. In the other ad, Thune promoted the premise that with Daschle the Democratic leader and Thune a well-connected Republican, South Dakota would have a powerhouse bipartisan team in the U.S. Senate.
Thune campaign manager Dick Wadhams said Pfeiffer's comparison is invalid and called use of the hug footage "a new low."
"Daschle has made a career out of attacking Bush. I don't believe that was going on two years ago," Wadhams said.
Thune said Daschle never asked him to take down the 2002 ad.
Thune viewed the ad before he left for this week's National Republican Convention in New York City, and on Tuesday called it "a signal of someone whose political circumstances are deteriorating rapidly."
"In the middle of the Republican convention, when every other leading Democrat in the country is attacking the president, beating him up, Tom Daschle is hugging him. To me, that speaks volumes," Thune said.
He said the Daschle ad is on the lips of Republicans strategizing and socializing in New York and is seen as undermining to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"Everybody's laughing," Thune said. "I'm calling it Hug-gate II."
Thune compared this hug dust-up to the controversy that ensued after filmmaker Michael Moore said he and Daschle shared a hug after the June premiere of his anti-Bush movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11." That first hug turned out to be a case of mistaken identity when a Daschle look-alike stepped forward to clear things up.
Whose political circumstances are deteriorating or strengthening also depends on which poll one reads.
On Tuesday, the Daschle campaign released poll results showing Daschle ahead 53 percent to 45 percent, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee released its own results showing Thune up 50 percent to 48 percent. Neither group released the questions asked nor details of the methodology used.
Send the President up there for a photo-op to say 'I don't endorse Daschle...that's silly/insane. I endorse Thune.'
Then make a new commercial.
GOP will have to run a counter ad.
POTUS will show up to campaign for Thune.
Who was this Daschle look alike?
Turn it into commercial, show Dashole hugging Bush and then bunch of attacks by him. Then ask : What is it Mr. Dashole? Flip-flopping like your idol sKerry?
My first thought on hearing this was that Thune would
naturally use Daschle's ad in his own ad.
That Daschle is out of touch and far to the left of most South Dakotans should be evident to South Dakotans by now. I mean, the guy got in line and took part in the far-left orchestrated blocking of several of Bush's judicial nominations from even getting an up or down vote from the full Senate. He also voted against the Marriage Amendment, did he not?
The only reason I can come up with for a state that voted for Bush by something like 20 points or more turning around and voting for a guy like Daschle is that Daschle must bring home the bacon, or pork as it were.
It is sad if South Dakotans fall for an election year gimmick that purports to show Daschle as something other than what he actually is -- a bonafide liberal. Sure its a slimy, disingenuous move by Daschle, but what do you expect? Its even worse for voters to fall for it.
It would be great if both Daschle and that congresswoman who won a special election earlier this summer went down in defeat. I have a feeling that she too will talk like a conservative and vote like a liberal.
OMG that pis is scary! Does not the President own his right to his image? If McCain can force the sKerry campaign to quite using his image can't the Pres do the same?
And some people don't know when to stop hugging slimeball weaself--ks like Daschle.
I'm surprised it's not the DNC having a cow about Daschle cozying up to the enemy.
I would think so, especially if it's being used for personal gain.
Then run video and quotes of Daschle slamming the President. (with "unhappy" music, of course.) I'm sure there is over an hour of footage one could rummage through.
I don't care for this any more than I care for the Kerry tactic of siccing lawyers on opponents.
Let Thune and Bush point out that Bush would love to see Daschle defeated, and that Daschle's use of this photo is disgustlingly cynical.
It's called "politics."
Hug or no hug..what in the world was daschle doing there in the first place??? especially during an election year when he runs in a very conservative state?????? Wait..I know..the ap can run a story and say that mooron hugged daschle..but daschle did nothing to stop the hug..what do you think?!?
The last thing we need is for Pubbies (too) to start looking and acting like crybabies.
The ad will backfire just like the Wellstone memorial.
Then Bush should use the same picture againt Dashle in a GOP ad.
"In the aftermath of 911, Senator Dashle said, we are all Americans. We can work together. But he failed us. He has kept qualified judges from the bench, breaking a 200 year tradition in the Senate... He has made us more dependant on foreign oil. And he voted against your tax refund."
Voice-over (while Bush embraces Daschle): "President Bush offered bipartisan friendship to Senator Daschle. How did Senator Daschle repay him?"
This is followed by clips of Daschle's most incensed, mouth-frothing rants against the President.
Voice-over: "So much for good faith."
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