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Kerry: 'Fought for his country'

/ Source: The Associated Press

TITLE: "Fought for America."

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

PRODUCER: Riverfront Media, (a political unit of GMMB & SDD).

AIRING: Tuesday in Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Washington and Ohio.


Announcer: "For 35 years John Kerry has fought for his country."

Kerry: "We need to get some things done in this country: affordable health care, rolling back tax cuts for the wealthy, really investing in our kids. That's why I'm running for president."

Announcer: "John Kerry: the military experience to defend America. A new plan to create jobs and put our economy back on track."

Kerry: "I'm John Kerry and I approved this message because it's time to put opportunity in the hands of all Americans."

Announcer: "John Kerry. A new direction for America."

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with a three-way split screen. Two of the pictures show Kerry in a shirt and a tie. The third is grainy footage of Kerry emerging from the jungles of Vietnam, a rifle in hand and a helmet on his head.

Flash to today: Kerry is speaking from a sun-dappled room about his domestic policies. When the announcer talks about military experience, a picture of Kerry receiving the Silver Star appears on screen. Workers in hard hats accompany talk about creating jobs. The commercial closes with pictures of children and elderly people before Kerry is shown speaking with an American flag as a backdrop.

ANALYSIS by Ron Fournier, Associated Press political writer: Kerry's advisers believe he can't defeat President Bush without first persuading Americans that he can protect the nation against terrorism.

Thus, the images and talk of Kerry's military experience and the vague references — both in pictures and words — to his record of "fighting" for the country throughout his career. He goes into no detail about his plans to create jobs, improve health care and "invest" in children. Aides say there will be time for that. However, the lack of a complete economic plan has allowed Kerry's political enemies to fill in the blanks, with the White House estimating that he would have to raise taxes by $1 trillion over 10 years. Kerry's camp disputes that figure. Polls show voters know little about Kerry, not even that he is a decorated Vietnam veteran. The ad is the first step toward fleshing out his biography and vision.