AD TITLE: "Troubling."
LENGTH: 30 seconds.
PRODUCER: Maverick Media.
AIRING: In 18 states: Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Washington and Ohio. Nationally on cable networks.
Bush: "I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message."
Announcer: "John Kerry's record on the economy: Troubling. He opposed tax relief for married couples 22 times. Opposed increasing the child tax credit 18 times. Kerry supported higher taxes over 350 times. He even supported increasing taxes on Social Security benefits. And a 50-cent a gallon tax hike for gasoline. Now Kerry's plan will raise taxes by at least $900 billion his first 100 days. Kerry and the economy: Troubling."
KEY IMAGES: Bush is shown in two scenes at the White House, approving the message. The ad appears to scroll through a series of blue-framed slides with pictures and text on each. Kerry is shown on one slide before the screen moves to others, which show a married couple, a child, a senior citizen and a gas pump, among various phrases. The ad ends with another photo of Kerry.
ANALYSIS by Liz Sidoti, Associated Press writer: The commercial is another attempt in the Bush campaign's effort to define Kerry for voters as a liberal tax-raiser.
The ad doesn't say outright that Kerry voted for higher taxes, but suggests that by saying he "supported" or "opposed." The Bush-Cheney campaign says the ad is based largely on Kerry's voting record during 19 years in the Senate. However, some of the votes referenced in the ad were not outright votes for or against an issue. Rather, they were procedural or included in larger bills with many other items.
In the Senate, Kerry has supported measures that would have meant higher taxes for some, and he currently supports rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers, which would mean a tax increase for them. His proposals, though, also call for cutting taxes on the middle class, some married couples and families with children.
The claim that Kerry supported higher taxes 350 times is based on a range of Kerry's votes, including some in favor of leaving taxes unchanged when Republicans proposed cuts, and others that were in favor of lower tax cuts than had been proposed.
The claim that Kerry would raise taxes by at least $900 billion in his first 100 days in office is based on the Bush campaign's calculation for how much Kerry's health care plan would cost and its assumption about how he would pay for it. Kerry has not proposed such a tax increase.
Lastly, the claim that Kerry supports a 50-cent increase in the gas tax is based on 1994 quotes in two Boston newspapers in which he expressed support for such an increase. However, his support was brief, he never voted on such a bill and he says he longer holds that view.
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