updated 3/17/2004 1:09:12 PM ET 2004-03-17T18:09:12

A new television ad by a liberal interest group admits President Bush has created jobs — “in places like China” — while another anti-Bush spot accuses the president of lying to Americans about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

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The Media Fund and MoveOn.org, groups working on behalf of Democrats but independently from presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry, are running the ads in battleground states where Bush is on the air.

Republicans and Bush’s campaign have complained that the groups are violating the campaign finance reform law of 2002 that bars the use of “soft money,” huge unlimited donations from corporations, unions and individuals, in federal elections. The groups contend they’re operating legally.

“This is another example of bitter partisan groups blatantly using illegal soft money to create a shadow Democratic Party in order to defeat President Bush,” said Scott Stanzel, a Bush campaign spokesman.

The Media Fund’s latest ad, which will start running Wednesday in 17 states, criticizes Bush for enacting policies that it says have contributed to nearly 3 million jobs lost and accuses him of supporting tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas.

The Chinese connection
“During the past three years, it’s true George W. Bush has created more jobs. Unfortunately, they were created in places like China,” the ad says as the camera zooms out from a picture of billowing smoke stacks to reveal a factory with Chinese writing on it.

MoveOn’s new spot will air in New York and Washington, D.C., beginning Saturday. The ad claims that Bush did not tell the truth a year ago when laying out the case for war with Iraq, and it urges Congress to censure the president.

A Bush imitator gives MoveOn’s version of what Bush should have said in his State of the Union address: “My fellow Americans, we have no evidence that Iraq has stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. No connection to 9/11. No nuclear capability. They pose no imminent threat to us.” The ad then says: “If he said that, would we have gone to war, spending $125 billion and losing more than 500 American lives?”

The ad, according to a script MoveOn released, uses images of burned-out Jeeps, Humvees and helicopters in Iraq, where more than 500 U.S. military members have died.

Combined with Kerry’s ad buy, the two groups have helped Democrats match Bush ad for ad in key media markets. The president’s campaign has raised at least $160 million. It is spending at least $6 million a week to run commercials — including some that criticize Kerry — at heavy levels in 18 states.

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