GEORGE W. BUSH II: Ad Addresses Health Care Issues
To combat Vice President Al Gore's post-convention bounce, Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) last week launched an ad campaign, renewing his promise to provide a prescription drug benefit for seniors and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. Titled "No Changes, No Reductions," the 30-second television spot features clips from Bush's GOP National Convention acceptance speech interspersed with shots of senior citizens. In the ad, Bush states: "We will make prescription drugs available and affordable for every senior who needs them. You earned your benefits. You made your plans. And [P]resident George W. Bush will keep the promise of Social Security. No changes. No reductions. No way." Part of a campaign ad buy targeting 21 states, the ad has aired in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin (Braverman, NationalJournal.com, 8/25). Chris Lehane, a spokesperson for Gore, blasted the ad, calling Bush's promise to provide seniors with a prescription drug benefit "100% false." He said, "The only way Bush could accomplish that goal would be by voting for Al Gore" (Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 8/26). Lehane added, "Bush will spend more on this television ad than he does on a prescription drug plan" (Allen, Washington Post, 8/26). To view "No Changes, No Reductions" please click here. Note: You must have RealPlayer G2 to view the ad.
RNC Assails Gore
Coinciding with the Bush ad, the Republican National Committee launched a $7 million ad campaign attacking Gore's prescription drug benefit plan, the New York Times reports. The 30-second spot has aired in nine states, including Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin (Seelye, 8/26). Titled "Priority MD," the ad features a series of Bush images, followed by a shot of Gore "looking embarrassed." The ad announcer states: "Under Clinton-Gore, prescription drug prices have skyrocketed -- and nothing's been done. George Bush has a plan: add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare." The ad continues: "And Al Gore? Gore opposed bipartisan reform. He's pushing a big government plan that lets Washington bureaucrats interfere with what your doctors prescribe" (Clymer, New York Times, 8/30). Lehane, however, called the ad "misleading" because Bush has not offered a drug benefit plan. Republican strategists admitted that they hope the ad will "neutralize [Gore's] success" on the prescription drug issue. "Once we neutralize it, we can go back to our issues of character, integrity and leadership," one strategist said (New York Times, 8/26). To view the ad, please click here. Note: You must have RealPlayer G2 to view the ad.
DNC Returns Fire
Not to be outdone, the Democratic National Committee returned fire last week, launching a $5 million ad campaign of its own on the prescription drug issue, the New York Times reports. Titled "Siding," the ad features images of ailing seniors, while an announcer states: "The issue: prescription drugs. George Bush's approach leaves millions of seniors with no prescription drug coverage. None." Over a shot of an elderly woman receiving a prescription envelope, the ad announcer continues: "Al Gore is taking on the big drug companies to pass a real prescription drug benefit that covers all seniors. George Bush? Siding with the big drug companies" (Clymer, 8/30). To view the ad, please click here. Note: You must have RealPlayer G2 to view the ad.
RLC Torches Gore
In another assault on Gore's prescription drug plan, the Republican Leadership Coalition last week released an ad accusing Gore of "a raid on your Social Security check," the Washington Post reports. The ad states: "Every month the government will take the new Medicare drug premium out of your check -- $25 a month in 2002, and later it goes to $51 a month" (Kurtz, 9/1). In addition, the spot features an elderly women with a message for Gore: "Get your hands off my Social Security check." The ad aired for five days in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Washington, D.C., and RLC officials plan to run the spot in some midwestern states. Accusing Gore of not outlining the details of his plan, RLC Founder Scott Reed said, "We believe we caught Al Gore trying to pull a fast one. He hasn't admitted his plan to take [Medicare premiums] out of Social Security" (AP/Nando Times, 8/30). Reed also said the group hopes to "pin Al Gore's ears back" with the ad, arguing that the vice president's criticism of Bush "is hurting our morale." Reed concluded, "It's hurting us in poll numbers and knocking [Bush] off his game" (Washington Post, 9/1).