U.S. presidential election, 2004: Democrat Campaign Ads

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The original U.S. presidential election, 2004: Campaign Ads file has been subdivided into two additional parts:

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  • 9 March 2004: "Bush Campaign Seeks Probe of Election Ads" by Liz Sidoti and Sharon Theimer, AP: "A group financed in part by liberal billionaire George Soros will run $5 million worth of TV ads against President Bush that mention the Republican by name, a point of contention among the president's re-election team that argues the spots violate federal law. ... The Media Fund's initial two-week buy, beginning Wednesday in 17 competitive states, will include commercials that criticize Bush's policies and priorities. Bush's re-election campaign plans to ask the Federal Election Commission to investigate. ... 'The rank dishonesty of the Republican position is certainly highlighted by their refusal to condemn the identical activities of Republican groups,' said James Jordan, a Media Fund spokesman."
  • 11 March 2004: "Monopolize The Microphone" by Steven Rosenfeld, TomPaine.com.
  • 16 March 2004: "Senator and His Allies Keep Up With Tempo of Bush Ads. TV race between incumbent and rivals is close in some key markets, data show" by Nick Anderson, Los Angeles Times.
  • 16 March 2004: "Liberals Help Kerry Match Bush Ads on Air" by Liz Sidoti, AP: "Democrat John Kerry is spending only one-third of the money that President Bush is pouring into television advertising this week, but viewers in such cities as Cleveland and Milwaukee likely will see more anti-Bush commercials than the other way around. ... Bush, whose re-election campaign has raised more than $160 million, still has the advantage and has spent millions more than Democrats so far. But Kerry, the Media Fund and the MoveOn.org Voter Fund combined make Democrats competitive on the air."
  • 22 March 2004 (Edition): " Raising the Volume. It's only March, but it feels like September on the campaign trail. A TIME guide to the suddenly fast and loud presidential race" by John F. Dickerson and Karen Tumulty, TIME.
  • 24 March 2004: "New Kerry TV Advertisement Aims to Counter GOP Attacks" by Nick Anderson, Los Angeles Times: "The ad, to air in 17 key states, focuses on the Democrat's biography to fight claims that he is a tax-raising liberal who is weak on defense."
  • 24 March 2004: "Kerry counters GOP punches with new TV ad" by Finlay Lewis, SignOnSanDiego: "Battleground states to see 30-second spot."
  • 24 March 2004: "Democratic Spending Is Team Effort. Groups' Ads Level Field for Kerry" by Paul Farhi, Washington Post.

Spoof Ads

John Forbes Kerry Presidential Campaign Ads

  • 12 March 2004: "New Bush Ad Assails Kerry on Taxes, War. Campaign Takes a Negative Turn" by Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: "Just one week after launching a wave of positive commercials, President Bush went on the attack with a new ad yesterday, charging that Democratic challenger John F. Kerry would 'raise taxes by at least $900 billion' and weaken the country's response to terrorism and ability to go to war. ... Kerry campaign officials, vowing to let no attack go unanswered, immediately began cutting a response ad for airing today. The commercial will deny any such proposed tax plan and remind viewers that Kerry wants to cut taxes for the middle class, the aides said. ... 'Once again George Bush is misleading America,' the tentative script says, adding: 'Doesn't America deserve more from its president than misleading negative ads?'"
  • 12 March 2004: "Kerry strikes back at Bush on ads. Campaign representatives take to the airwaves," CNN: "In the latest twist of the markedly combative race for the White House, Sen. John Kerry's campaign released an ad Friday accusing President Bush of 'misleading America' about Kerry's record."
  • 13 March 2004: "Kerry, Focus of Attack Ad, Reacts With One of His Own" by Jim Rutenberg, New York Times: "Mr. Kerry's commercial caught strategists from both parties off guard because of the relatively large amount of money, $1.8 million, his campaign was spending to show it in 16 states starting Friday night."

Democrat Advocacy Groups' Ads

Media Fund

  • 10 March 2004: "Democrats Forming Parallel Campaign. Interest Groups Draw GOP Fire" by Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post: "A new ad to be launched today was produced by the Media Fund, the principal vehicle for pro-Democratic television commercials by the coalition. But the coalition's advertising effort will be shared by MoveOn.org, the Internet-based liberal advocacy group that has become part of the umbrella operation established by the Democratic organizations. ... The new ad -- one of three tested in focus groups in Tampa and Pittsburgh -- states that 'George Bush's priorities are eroding the American Dream.'"
  • 10 March 2004: "Same-sex marital woes for Bush" by John Mercurio, CNN: "From the left, Bush gets hit by the Media Fund, which is spending almost $5.1 million to air a new ad throwing everything at the president but the kitchen sink -- job losses, tax cuts, health care, special interests and corporate corruption. ... Take your pick, they're all jammed into the 30-second spot, which the Media Fund clearly wants to air before the Federal Election Commission issues a decision on spending by so-called 527 groups that could curtail their role in '04 politics. (Named for a section of the tax code regulating their activities, these groups can accept 'soft money' -- or unregulated donations that come mostly from corporations and unions.)" Also see Log Cabin Republicans.
  • 10 March 2004: "Democratic, GOP Groups Target Bush in New TV Ads" by Nick Anderson, Los Angeles Times: "The Media Fund's 30-second ad will air in 17 states where Bush's margin of victory or defeat in 2000 was no more than a few percentage points, said Jim Jordan, a spokesman for the group. ... The ad attacks policies it says give tax breaks to corporations for moving jobs overseas, deepen the national debt and favor special interests. It charges: 'George Bush's priorities are eroding the American dream. It's time to take our country back from corporate greed and make America work for every American.'" Read the text of the ad provided by the New York Times.


  • See "Bush in 30 Seconds" by MoveOn.org.
  • 2 March 2004: "MoveOn.org to Counter Bush's Ad Blitz" by Liz Sidoti, AP.
  • 2 March 2004: "RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie Statement on MoveOn.Org Ad Buy," Republican National Committee.
  • 3 March 2004: "MoveOn.org Voter Fund Refutes RNC Chair's False Claims. Recent Success of Voter Fund TV Campaign Prompts Effort by Gillespie to Change the Subject," PRNewswire.
  • 10 March 2004: "Democrats Forming Parallel Campaign. Interest Groups Draw GOP Fire" by Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post: "MoveOn.org already has spent millions of dollars on anti-Bush ads. Much of the group's work, according to several Democrats involved in the coalition, will be concentrated in five states that Democrats hope to pick up in November: Florida, Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia and Nevada. ... The group ran ads for 10 weeks in those states, including a prescription drug ad that ran for four weeks. Polling conducted by Stan Greenberg, Bill Clinton's 1992 pollster, showed the ad was particularly effective in enlarging the Democrats' advantage on that issue, according to sources familiar with the research. That has convinced Democrats they can move the battlefield in Kerry's direction."
  • 10 March 2004: "Political Groups Spend Millions to Take on Bush in Ad Campaign" by Glen Justice and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times: "The MoveOn.org Voter Fund, which has been running commercials against Mr. Bush for months now, began one of its biggest campaigns yet on Thursday, paying about $3 million for two weeks of ads against the president in all 17 states where he is advertising. In most of those states the group is running a new spot in which a visibly beaten-down factory worker laments job losses and proposed limits to overtime pay and says, 'Face it, George Bush is not on our side.'"
  • 17 March 2004: "Censure President Bush". TV ad shows Donald Rumsfeld's interview on Face the Nation regarding Iraq as an imminent threat.

New Democrat Network

  • 6 March 2004: "Democrat ads target Hispanics" by Liz Sidoti, AP: "In a new ad airing Friday, a young Hispanic girl asks, 'President Bush, why did you break your promise?' It's part of an effort by a group of moderate Democrats to court Hispanics and challenge the Republican incumbent. ... The New Democrat Network started running two 30-second Spanish-language ads in Albuquerque, N.M., Phoenix and Las Vegas, kicking off what it says will be a $5 million effort in media markets with high concentrations of Hispanics."
  • 10 March 2004: "Democrats Forming Parallel Campaign. Interest Groups Draw GOP Fire" by Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post: The New Democrat Network "plans a separate $5 million television campaign aimed at Latino voters in four states."
  • 10 March 2004: "Political Groups Spend Millions to Take on Bush in Ad Campaign" by Glen Justice and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times: "One campaign, by a Democratic advocacy group called the New Democrat Network, includes two Spanish-language advertisements that accuse Mr. Bush of letting down Latinos. The group, which has the former Clinton housing secretary Henry Cisneros on its advisory board and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico as another adviser, said it was paying $5 million to run spots through Labor Day in cities with large Spanish-speaking populations like Orlando, Albuquerque, Phoenix and Las Vegas. In one of the spots an announcer says in Spanish: 'When he wanted to reach the White House, George Bush promised to be a friend of the Latino community and do what's best for our children. He has not kept his promise.'"

Bush's Anti-Kerry Ads

  • 11 March 2004: "Bush Ads Go Negative; Kerry Strikes Back. Bush Unveils First Negative Ads; Kerry Campaign Takes Offensive, Calls President 'Misleading'," AP: "Bush's toughest ad, titled 100 days, alludes to Kerry's desire to get United Nations approval before invading Iraq and notes his opposition to the Patriot Act I. Bush says at the start of the ad that he approved the message."