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Ad Watch

Republican Commercial Attacks Gore on Honesty, Social Security Plan

October 26, 2000|Jeff Leeds

The Republican National Committee is running this commercial, titled "Solvent," along with two other ads making similar points, in 23 competitive states.


Cold Harbor Films, run by GOP media consultant Alex Castellanos.

The Script

Announcer: "Why does Al Gore say one thing, when the truth is another? His attacks on George W. Bush's Social Security plan--exaggerations. The truth? Non-partisan analysis confirms George Bushs plan sets aside $2.4 trillion dollars to strengthen Social Security. Newspapers say Gore has a problem telling the truth. Now Gore promises smaller government, but Gore is actually proposing three times the new spending President Clinton proposed. Why does Al Gore say one thing, when the truth is another?"

The Pictures

Opens with words on a white screen. Shot of Gore on a television screen with the words "negative attacks" floating around it. The phrase is replaced with the word "exaggerations." Bush is shown speaking in front of a Social Security sign. Gore is shown on the TV screen surrounded by newspaper clippings. A chart compares Gores spending to Clinton's. Closes with shot of the tagline on a white screen.


The newspaper stories cited in the ad mention examples of Gore misstatements, but they don't regard policy issues such as Social Security. While Bush would allocate $2.4 trillion to the Social Security program over 10 years, the commercial sidesteps the question of how Bush would cover the cost of current retirees' benefits after draining an estimated $1 trillion out of the system to set up personal accounts for younger workers. Gore is proposing more spending than Clinton did, but is planning a budget in a time of surpluses, while the president was contemplating a budget when deficits still loomed large.


Republicans are seeking to play offense and defense at the same time, by continuing to attack Gores personal credibility while trying to deflect the Democrats attacks on Bush's Social Security program. By making Gore out to be a big spender, the GOP can counter charges that Bush is being fiscally irresponsible with his larger tax cut.


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