President Bush and Democratic rival John Kerry will pull their campaign ads Friday, the day of former President Reagan’s funeral.
The two campaigns are trying to avoid overt politicking during a time of national mourning. The Kerry campaign said Sunday that the candidate would take a week off the campaign trail. The Bush campaign announced Monday that Vice President Dick Cheney’s trip to Springfield, Mo., for a rally had been canceled in honor of Reagan.
The Bush campaign also plans to stop airing a hard-hitting television commercial this week that assails Kerry on the Patriot Act. The spot had been widely criticized for taking liberties with Kerry’s position on the legislation that expanded the government’s surveillance and detention powers following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Instead of that ad, Bush will run a commercial that trumpets recent job growth under his administration and that jabs Kerry, calling him a pessimist on the economic turnaround.
The ad, which is far less critical of Kerry than other commercials, started running Monday on national cable networks but also will air in media markets in 19 battleground states.
The funeral for Reagan will be held Friday at Washington’s National Cathedral.