||Bush Campaign Uses Nazi Ad on Website
Arab News/ 1 August 2004
The Bush re-election machine appears to need some fine-tuning, as his campaign is refusing to withdraw an anti-Kerry ad displaying Nazi imagery from its website, despite criticism from US Jewish organizations. Bush's website features an advertisement casting Sen. John Kerry and his colleagues as a “coalition of the wild-eyed.” It mixes clips of former Vice President Al Gore, former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont, filmmaker Michael Moore, and Kerry criticizing Bush.
Intermingled throughout the clip are photos of a shouting Hitler, the result appears to compare these men to Hitler. The advertisement on the Bush-Cheney website, georgewbush.com, opens with a close-up image of Gore shouting, “How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison.” A fuzzy image of Hitler immediately follows, along with shouts of “Sieg Heil!”
Dean is then shown shouting “I want my country back,” followed by brief clips of Moore and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri and then Hitler again. Gore is then shown again, insisting that Bush had “betrayed this country.” Kerry is then shown denouncing the president. The advertisement ends with upbeat music and the written message: “This is not a time for pessimism and rage.” The ad contrasts the shouting images with a photo of a smiling Bush, and a link to the Bush campaign's Web video was sent to the six million people on its e-mail list.
Despite criticism, Bush campaign officials deny using the film to suggest Kerry and his colleagues are extremists on par with Hitler. But several leading Jewish organizations say their members have complained that is exactly what the ads want to achieve, and want the Bush campaign to withdraw the ad.
“People of good faith seem to be regarding this ad as a comparison and are clearly disturbed by any use of Hitler's memory and images to further political goals,” American Jewish Congress President Paul Miller said in a statement. To date, the Bush campaign has refused to pull the ad.
Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry's campaign manager, sent out a fund-raising letter accusing the Bush campaign of “losing any last sense of decency” by posting the new advertisement. “Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces,” Cahill's letter said, demanding that the Bush-Cheney campaign pull the spot.