Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2004

TV campaign ad will use Reagan’s image

June 17, 2004

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— The year's first televised political advertisement to use an image of Ronald Reagan in promoting President Bush and attacking Sen. John Kerry is scheduled to air next week after a delay of a few days sought by the late president's widow, the ad's sponsor said Wednesday.

The Club for Growth, a conservative group that operates independent of Bush's re-election campaign, had planned to begin its commercial as early as Wednesday, just five days after Reagan's funeral and burial. But that proved too swift for Nancy Reagan, said Stephen Moore, president of the group.

He said a family representative told him that Nancy Reagan wanted that ad's broadcast postponed. So the group pushed back its release until Monday.

"Obviously, we don't want to cause any grief or embarrassment," Moore said. He also said the Reagan family did not object to the content of the ad.

The ad, a copy of which was posted on the group's Web site, compares Kerry unfavorably with Reagan and Bush, using footage and quotes from all three.

The Kerry campaign questioned the ad's appropriateness. "This is no way to honor Ronald Reagan's legacy," said spokesman Phil Singer. "Out of respect for the former president and his family, the president's surrogates should take down this ad.

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said the president's strategists had no role in producing the ad.

In comments following Reagan's death, many Republicans depicted Bush as the heir of Reagan's conservative mantle. But Bush campaign officials have not signaled any intention to run advertisements with Reagan's image.

In another development, a Bush campaign official said Wednesday the president's advertising effort would pause briefly for the first time since it began in early March. The campaign has said that it might not run ads continuously through the November election.

The official said the break, starting in about a week, would last a matter of "days, not weeks."

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