Democrats unveiled this 30-second television commercial Thursday. It will target several closely contested states starting as early as today. California is not among them.
Sponsor: Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Democrat for president.
Michael J. Fox: "Stem-cell research has the promise of finding cures for illness, from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's to diabetes. John Kerry strongly supports stem-cell research. George Bush is putting limits on it. Stem-cell research can help millions of Americans whose lives have been touched by devastating illnesses. George Bush says we can wait. I say lives are at stake and it's time for leadership. That's why I support John Kerry for president."
Kerry: "I'm John Kerry, and I approved this message."
Images: Fox, wearing eyeglasses, speaks to the camera. At the end, he is shown at a campaign rally with Kerry.
Analysis: This advertisement is Kerry's effort to raise stem-cell research as a campaign issue ahead of tonight's debate with President Bush. Kerry has two goals: to promote an endorsement from Fox, a well-known actor who has Parkinson's disease, and to depict himself as a stronger advocate of cutting-edge medical research than Bush. The ad echoes in part a speech by Ron Reagan at the Democratic convention in Boston. President Reagan's son urged lifting stem-cell research limits in the wake of his father's death after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. In August 2001, Bush authorized federal funding of stem-cell research but limited it to existing stem-cell lines because creating new ones would require the destruction of human embryos. The White House calls the policy a compromise between scientific needs and moral concerns over the unborn. But many scientists, and some Republicans, say the limits are hampering the quest for cures.
From Times staff writer Nick Anderson
Los Angeles Times