Gore Hits Bush with ‘Relentlessly Hostile’ Attack Ad
Taking off the "gloves," Vice President Al Gore's campaign "upped the ante" Thursday, launching a "relentlessly hostile" ad that questions Texas Gov. George W. Bush's record on health care and whether he "has what it takes" to serve as president, the New York Times reports. The 30-second spot, produced by the Campaign Company, features Bush's face with a "blank expression," which fades in and out to a series of "distressing images," such as a young mother tending to her sick child and "smoke billowing from a plant." Meanwhile, the ad announcer states: "As governor, George W. Bush gave big oil a tax break while opposing health care for 220,000 kids. Texas now ranks 50th in family health care." In addition, the ad criticizes Bush's record on minimum wage, the environment and Social Security, closing with a shot of Bush dissolving into an expensive suburban home and a Mercedes-Benz. The announcer concludes: "Is he ready to lead America?" The commercial attempts to highlight the "backwardness of life" in Texas under Bush, an issue that Democrats have "amassed an archive of material to support" and "made a cornerstone" of their efforts to defeat Bush. The Times reports that the Bush campaign earlier this week released its "toughest spot" yet, an ad that criticized Gore for "embellishing his experiences and achievements." But while that ad was "playfully nasty," the Times calls the new Gore spot "intense and harsh and ... intent on unnerving voters" (Marks, New York Times, 11/3). The ad, titled "Lead," mirrors a Democratic National Committee spot released earlier this week, but by questioning Bush's "preparedness to lead the nation," the Gore campaign has made a charge that the vice president has until now left to his surrogates. Bush remains "slightly ahead" of Gore in recent polls (Braverman, NationalJournal.com, 11/2). To view "Lead," go to http://nationaljournal.com/members/adspotlight/2000/11/1 103ag1.ram. Note: You will need RealPlayer G2 to view the ad.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.