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Bush-Cheney: Kerry 'wrong' on defense

/ Source: The Associated Press

TITLE: "Troops."

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

PRODUCER: Maverick Media

AIRING: West Virginia


Bush: "I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message."

Announcer: "Few votes in Congress are as important as funding our troops at war. Though John Kerry voted in October of 2002 for military action in Iraq, he later voted against funding our soldiers."

Senate Clerk: "Mr. Kerry:"

Announcer: "No. Body armor for troops in combat."

Senate Clerk: "Mr. Kerry:"

Announcer: "No. Higher combat pay."

Senate Clerk: "Mr. Kerry:"

Announcer: "No. And, better health care for reservists and their families ..."

Senate Clerk: "Mr. Kerry:"

Announcer: "No. Wrong on defense."

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with three scenes of Bush at the White House as he approves the spot. A picture of the U.S. Capitol appears, followed by a clip of a solider directing an aircraft carrier to take off. Kerry then is shown talking on half the screen, while footage of soldiers apparently in Iraq fills the other half. Another split screen follows, showing a solider walking to a bus and a Black Hawk helicopter in flight. Scenes from the Senate floor are interspersed with clips of soldiers in fatigues, at work and hugging loved ones. The ad ends with a picture of Kerry and the written phrase: "John Kerry: Wrong on Defense."

ANALYSIS by Liz Sidoti, Associated Press writer: Bush uses the ad to try to counter John Kerry's record as a decorated Vietnam War veteran in West Virginia, which has more than 203,000 veterans, and to claim that Kerry is inconsistent in his positions. In this case, the topic is defense.

The ad points out Kerry's vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war. It then seizes on his vote against a subsequent $87 billion spending bill to support military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ad uses that vote to claim that the Massachusetts senator voted against giving troops body armor and higher combat pay, and reservists better health care.

It's true all of those issues were included in the overall bill, and that Kerry voted against it. (His campaign says it was because the bill included no-bid contracts for companies.) However, voting against the bill is not the same as voting against the individual issues. Viewers are led to believe Kerry cast separate votes on each issue, which he did not.

Left out of the ad is the fact that, long before the $87 billion vote, the Pentagon had been struggling with delays in the production and distribution of the latest armor to troops in Iraq, among other supply problems. In October, when the vote was cast, nearly one-fourth of the 130,000 American troops in Iraq still had not been issued the newest body armor, several months after the war had started.