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CAMPAIGN 2000 | Ad Watch

New Commercial Ridicules Gore Over Fund-Raising Indictments

September 09, 2000|Jeff Leeds

Republican Party officials said they would begin airing this 30-second television advertisement, entitled "Let's See," on Monday statewide in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and are likely to then rotate it into seven other competitive states.

Producer

Cold Harbor Films, the in-house production company at GOP media firm National Media, run by consultant Alex Castellanos.

The Script

Female announcer: "Al Gore's promising campaign finance reform? Can I believe him? Because of Gore's last fund-raising campaign, 22 people have been indicted, 12 convicted, 70 took the Fifth Amendment and 18 witnesses fled the country. Now Al Gore's promising more accountability in our schools. And that sounds good. Until you find out he doesn't require any real testing. And no testing means no accountability. Just more politics from Al Gore."

The Pictures

Opens with a close-up of a television sitting on a kitchen counter. On the TV screen, Gore is speaking at a lectern. Static cuts across the screen. In grainy footage, Gore is then shown speaking in front of the blue curtain in the White House press room. Graphics show the numbers the announcer is reciting. Static cuts in again. Camera, at a low angle, returns to the TV with Gore again on screen. Static interrupts. Then the television is shown in close-up, with Gore still speaking.

Accuracy

The ads' fund-raising tally is correct. But the claim about Gore's education plan is a highly subjective one. Gore would require states to test students with the National Assessment of Education Progress exam, covering reading, math and other subjects, every four years. Experts said Gore's plan would require changes in the way the test is administered, because not enough children currently take the test to allow measurement of individual schools. Bush would make the NAEP an annual test.

Scorecard

This is the second straight advertisement where the party has attacked Gore's personal credibility by zeroing in on the Clinton-Gore campaign's 1996 fund-raising scandal. But unlike the last one, this spot also discusses a policy issue. With the female announcer, kitchen setting, and partial focus on education, the ad seeks to resonate with the women voters who now appear to be leaning toward Gore.

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