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THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE | AD WATCH

Kerry on the economy

September 29, 2004

A 30-second presidential campaign advertisement supporting Sen. John F. Kerry was announced Tuesday. The ad was aired on local broadcasts in Ohio.

Sponsor: The Media Fund, a pro-Kerry group.

Script:

Man wearing a hard hat: "I'm not a big Bush fan, but what's Kerry going to do that's different?"

Narrator: "For 20 years, John Kerry has fought for jobs. In the '90s he helped balance the budget that led to 23 million new jobs."

Man: "I didn't know."

Narrator: "Under Bush and Cheney, Ohio has lost 230,000 jobs while they give no-bid contracts to Halliburton."

Man: "Halliburton."

Narrator: "Kerry and Edwards will reward companies who keep jobs at home and rebuild a strong middle class for a stronger, more secure America."

Man: "That is a big difference."

Narrator: "Learn more about the Kerry-Edwards plan at factsforohio.com. The Media Fund is responsible for the content of this ad."

Images: A man wearing a hard hat at an industrial site is shown speaking directly to the camera. The spot closes with a picture of Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, at a campaign event.

Analysis: This ad claims Democrats are on the side of the average worker and argues that Republican economic policies have failed in a critical Midwestern industrial state. It seeks to appeal to swing voters alienated from Bush but not yet persuaded by Kerry.

The ad alludes to Kerry's support for President Clinton's 1993 tax increases and deficit-reduction policies, which helped produce a balanced federal budget by 1998. Whether Clinton and congressional Democrats could therefore claim credit for the 1990s jobs boom is open to debate. Republicans, who became the majority in Congress in 1995, say they had a major hand in the economy too. The job-loss figure for Ohio refers to Labor Department statistics from January 2001 through August 2004.

Halliburton, an energy services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, did receive an emergency, no-bid contract for oil field reconstruction in the Iraq war, but the relationship between that contract and Ohio job losses appears tenuous at best.

Compiled by Times staff writer Nick Anderson.

Los Angeles Times

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