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Republicans warned not air democrat ad { July 20 2003 }

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Sunday, July 20, 2003 Posted: 9:50 PM EDT (0150 GMT)
Democrat ad questions Bush credibility

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) --Democrats said Sunday they will launch a new television ad in Wisconsin accusing President Bush of misleading Americans on the threat from Iraq.

Republicans warned broadcasters not to air the ad, scheduled to start Monday, calling it "deliberately false and misleading."

The Democratic National Committee has been raising money through an e-mail campaign that started July 10 to help pay for an ad that sharply questions President Bush's veracity on Iraq's weapons.

The ad says: "In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush told us of an imminent threat. ... America took him at his word."

The video shows Bush saying, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

The ad continues: "But now we find out it wasn't true.

"A year earlier, that claim was proven false. The CIA knew it. The State Department knew it. The White House knew it.

"But he told us anyway."

Republicans claim the ad improperly quotes Bush because his entire statement was: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Democratic spokesman Tony Welch said: "With the British in there, the president's information is still false and misleading. It is exactly what the president said."

Some Republicans have argued Bush's statement was technically accurate because it attributed the findings about uranium to the British.

"You can say whatever you want in a fund-raiser," Republican spokesman Jim Dyke said, "but it steps over the line when you knowingly mislead people in your advertising."

Welch said the ad would be aired in Madison, Wisconsin, starting Monday for about a week and the amount spent would be almost $20,000.

The ad would be paid for, at least partially, by the Democrats' e-mail campaign, he said.

Efforts to get comment from TV stations in Madison were not successful Sunday.

The ad squabble comes at a time when public trust in the president has been eroding, according to results released Sunday from a CNN-Time poll.

The poll found that 47 percent view Bush as a leader they can trust, while 51 percent said they have doubts and reservations.

That's down from 56 percent who saw him as a leader they could trust in late March, with 41 percent having doubts. (Full story)

The poll of 1,004 people taken Wednesday and Thursday had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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