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Thread: Bush Campaign Defends Ads With 9/11 Images

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    Bush Campaign Defends Ads With 9/11 Images

    Updated: 03-04-2004 11:16:05 AM

    Bush Campaign Defends Ads With 9/11 Images

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush's re-election campaign on Thursday defended commercials using images from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including wreckage of the World Trade Center, as appropriate for an election about public policy and the war on terror.

    Some families of the victims of the attacks are angry with Bush for airing the spots, which they called in poor taste and for the president's political gain.

    ``With all due respect, I just completely disagree, and I believe the vast majority of the American people will as well,'' Karen Hughes, a Bush campaign adviser, told ``The Early Show'' on CBS. ``September 11th was not just a distant tragedy. It's a defining event for the future of our country. ... Obviously, all of us mourn and grieve for the victims of that terrible day, but September 11 fundamentally changed our public policy in many important ways, and I think it's vital that the next president recognize that.''

    The first three ads, unveiled Wednesday at campaign headquarters in suburban Washington, will run on broadcast channels in about 80 markets in 18 states, most of which are expected to be critical to the election, and nationwide on select cable networks.

    ``It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people,'' Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin towers, told the New York Daily News for its Thursday editions. ``It is unconscionable.''

    Two of the spots show the destruction at the World Trade Center and include an American flag flying amid the debris. They also feature images of firefighters working through the wreckage.

    ``It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place,'' said Firefighter Tommy Fee of Queens Rescue Squad 270. ``The image of firefighters at ground zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics.''

    The ads do not mention Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, focusing instead on improving Bush's image after criticism by Democrats in recent months.

    ``I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty,'' said Tom Roger, whose daughter perished on American Airlines Flight 11. ``But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat.''

    Hughes said the ads are a tasteful reminder of what the country has been through the last three years.

    ``I can understand why some Democrats might not want the American people to remember the great leadership and strength the president and first lady Laura Bush brought to our country in the aftermath of that,'' she said.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=41&id=27047


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    IAFF: New Bush Ads Use Of Fire Fighter Images Smack Of Political Opportunism

    Updated: 03-04-2004 11:16:28 AM

    IAFF: New Bush Ads Use Of Fire Fighter Images Smack Of Political Opportunism


    IAFF
    Press Release

    WASHINGTON, DC

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    Furor over Bush's 9/11 ad

    Furor over Bush's 9/11 ad



    By MAGGIE HABERMAN in New York
    amd THOMAS M. DeFRANK in Washington
    DAILY NEWS STAFF


    The Bush reelection campaign yesterday unveiled its first three campaign commercials showcasing Ground Zero images, angering some 9/11 families who accused President Bush of exploiting the tragedy for political advantage.
    "It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. "It is unconscionable."

    Gabrielle and several other family members said the injury was compounded by Bush's refusal to testify in open session before the 9/11 commission.

    "I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on doomed American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

    Mindy Kleinberg said she was offended because the White House has not cooperated fully with the commission and because of the sight of remains being lifted out of Ground Zero in one of the spots.

    "How heinous is that?" Kleinberg asked. "That's somebody's [loved one]."

    Firefighter Tommy Fee in Rescue Squad 270 in Queens was appalled.

    "It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics," Fee said.

    But Jennie Farrell, who lost her brother, electrician James Cartier, called the ad "tastefully done," adding: "It speaks to the truth of the times. Sept. 11 ... was something beyond the realm of imagination, and George Bush ... led us through one of the darkest moments in history."

    The gauzy, upbeat spots, aimed at shoring up Bush's sagging approval numbers, begin airing today on national cable networks and 50 media markets in 17 states that Bush-Cheney strategists consider electoral battlegrounds.

    Two ads, including a Spanish version, show fleeting images of the World Trade Center devastation. The 30-second spots include a poignant image of an American flag fluttering defiantly amid the WTC wreckage.

    One, titled "Safer, Stronger," also features a one-second shot of firefighters removing the flag-draped remains of a victim from the twisted debris.

    Both ads reinforce the Ground Zero imagery with frontal shots of two firefighters. Unlike the paid actors and actresses in most of the footage, they are not ringers, but their red headgear gives them away as non-New Yorkers. The Bush campaign declined to reveal where the burly smoke-eaters actually work.

    Bush officials defended the imagery as totally appropriate.

    "9/11 was the defining moment of these times," campaign manager Ken Mehlman told reporters. "Because of that day, America is at war and still is."

    Charging Democratic rival John Kerry with politicizing the attacks by alleging Bush has turned his back on the city, Mehlman added: "The President's never forgotten. It's a central part of his leadership."

    The spots, pegged to the theme of "steady leadership in time of change," do not mention Kerry. Instead, their uplifting message hopes to refurbish Bush's battered image after two months of harsh Democratic attacks and a series of missteps by the normally surefooted White House political apparatus.

    "We've been off our game for weeks," a senior Bush strategist conceded. "Thank goodness, there's plenty of time to get well, and plenty of grist to chop Kerry down to size."


    With Kenneth R. Bazinet and Michele McPhee


    Originally published on March 4, 2004
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...p-148587c.html

    photo below
    Egan-Chin News
    'After 3,000 people were murdered on his watch, it seems to me that that takes an awful lot of audacity. Honestly, it's in poor taste.' - Kristen Breitweiser, with her husband's ring.

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    Giuliani defends Bush's use of 9/11 images

    Giuliani defends Bush's use of 9/11 images
    Thursday, March 4, 2004 Posted: 10:54 PM EST (0354 GMT)


    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who won worldwide acclaim for his handling of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that devastated his city, said Thursday that using images from that day in campaign ads for President Bush is both "appropriate" and "relevant."

    "The reality is that President Bush played a very, very big role in bringing our country through the worst attack in our history," he said. "So it's an appropriate thing for him to point out as part of his record, just like Democrats are going to attack parts of his record and say, 'We think it should have been done differently.' "

    Giuliani is a Republican and a supporter of Bush's re-election.

    The ads, which began airing Thursday, outline a series of challenges that the United States has faced since Bush became president, including the 9/11 attacks. The tag line is that Bush presents "strong leadership in times of change."

    Some family members of people killed in the terrorist attacks object to the use of images from the tragedy in montages in the ads, including a brief shot of a firefighter carrying away a flag-draped victim.

    "We can't help but look at the failures of that day," said Patty Casazza, whose husband died in the World Trade Center. "We lost loved ones, and anyone in our shoes would have to have a more critical view of the president."

    But other victims' families said they see nothing wrong with the ads.

    "It shows you firefighters carrying a brother out, and it shows you the American flag waving over the Trade Center," said Joe Esposito, a firefighter who lost both a brother and a cousin in the attacks. "I have no problem with that."

    A local firefighters union, which has endorsed presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, also charged that the ad goes too far.

    "I don't think the death of any citizen, particularly firefighters, should be used in anyone's campaign," said Capt. Peter Gorman of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

    But Giuliani told CNN "It would almost be false to list the challenges that President Bush had to face and not list as one of those challenges the worst attack in this country."

    Asked if he would use similar images if he ran for office again, Giuliani said "that would be hypothetical" -- but he added that his record in handling the tragedy would be a legitimate matter for voters to consider.

    "September 11th is part of my record," he said. "It would be unrealistic, if I was ever evaluated, for someone not to look at that."

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan also defended the ads Thursday.

    "It is vital to our future that we learn what September 11th taught us," he said. "September 11th changed the equation in our public policy. It forever changed our world, and the president's steady leadership is vital to how we wage the war on terrorism."

    David Gergen, a former adviser to presidents of both parties, said using September 11 in campaign ads is acceptable within limits.

    "They have to be careful not to exploit the emotions of the families," Gergen said. "But how can you tell the story of the Bush administration and leave out 9/11? That's the core of what happened. If he's re-elected, the single reason why is because of the days and weeks following 9/11."

    CNN correspondents Jason Carroll and Dana Bash contributed to this report.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...ush/index.html


    Photo below
    Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani

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    9/11 belongs in debate as issue, not maneuver

    9/11 belongs in debate as issue, not maneuver


    Doug MacEachern
    Republic columnist
    Mar. 7, 2004 12:00 AM


    Objecting to TV ads by the Bush re-election campaign, one woman whose husband died in the World Trade Center attack told the New York Daily News on Thursday that the ads were in poor taste.

    "After 3,000 people were murdered on his watch," she said, adding that running such ads takes a lot of audacity.

    Fair enough. Taken at face value, no one could ever dispute the heartfelt opinions of those who lost their loved ones to the most heinous attack on American civilians ever.

    But, then, another twin towers attack survivor was interviewed Friday on NBC's Today Show. She, too, spoke emotionally about the inappropriateness of the ads. She, too, referenced the 3,000 people killed "on his watch."

    Other language used by other victims' survivors began sounding strangely, oddly similar. Two women both referenced the fact that Bush had been reading to children when the attacks occurred. Other similarities, other themes, seemed repeated in the words of people objecting to the Bush ads.

    Now, heaven help anyone who dares suggest such people are not welcome to their opinions - are not due an opinion. Whatever they have to say - whether coached or not, whether prepared as a statement in conjunction with other survivors or not - is ground their personal tragedies give them free rein to tread.

    But then there are the coaches themselves. That is another matter.

    If Democratic operatives are in fact manipulating the reactions of Sept. 11 survivors to the Bush campaign ads, then all I can say is that the predictions of people like John McCain - that this coming 2004 presidential election may be the dirtiest in history - already are coming to pass. It would be craven.

    Residents of New York have come to view the land once occupied by the World Trade Center religiously. They have taken possession of it as Catholics have taken ownership of Lourdes, France. So when the sister of a computer programmer who died in the North Tower bitterly concluded "this is a political party stepping on my brother's grave," no one dares claim such a statement is anything but heartfelt.

    But it is far from fair or reasonable.

    The ads launched by the Bush campaign are, by almost any measure, inoffensive and upbeat. Nevertheless, nobody should be surprised that partisan Democrats were spring-loaded to jump on Bush for any campaign allusions to Sept. 11.

    But they cannot escape the fact that Bush is the leader of a nation that has been at war since that day and his record is defined by actions he has taken since that day.

    Whether Bush's record is judged poorly, as many certainly have and will, or creditably, the fact remains that Bush was one type of leader on Sept. 10, and an entirely different type on Sept. 11. On Sept. 10, the majority of Americans would have expected Bush to hold to his campaign vow to withdraw the United States from its wide spread of involvement beyond our shores. As of Sept. 11, we were at war with a foreign enemy. And Bush was a war president. Just like Democratic icon Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Roosevelt did not merely insert images of Pearl Harbor into his re-election campaign of 1944 against Tom Dewey, he literally made it his campaign theme. The words "Pearl Harbor" and its images emblazoned Roosevelt campaign buttons and posters. Like Bush, he was the nation's war president, and he did not shy away from letting prospective voters know that by changing administrations in the middle of a war, they might threaten the war's outcome.

    Was it crass? Hardly. The war was part of Roosevelt's record. Come Election Day, voters had the opportunity to express their displeasure with the man who had dragged them into the "European" war, or they could celebrate the job he'd done.

    If surviving families of Sept. 11 victims wish to see the coming campaign through their chosen lens, that is their right.

    But cold-eyed political strategists have no such right to deny anyone the issues - and, yes, images - of the coming debate.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/opinio...eachern07.html

    Reach MacEachern at doug.maceachern@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8883.

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    9/11 KIN RUSH TO BUSH'S DEFENSE

    9/11 KIN RUSH TO BUSH'S DEFENSE

    By HEIDI SINGER


    March 7, 2004 -- President Bush yesterday defended his use of Sept. 11 footage to get himself re-elected, and more than a dozen victims' families threw their support behind him.
    The president caused a firestorm of protest from victims' families on Thursday when his campaign began running commercials using images of the destroyed World Trade Center.

    "I will continue to speak about the effects of 9/11 on our country and my presidency," Bush said from his Crawford, Texas, ranch. "I have an obligation to those who died. I have an obligation to those who were heroic in their attempts to rescue [the victims]. And I won't forget that obligation."

    Meanwhile, the group of supporters, mostly firefighter families, released an "Open Letter to America" approving the ads.

    "There is no better testament to the leadership of President Bush than Sept. 11," the letter states. "In choosing our next leader, we must not forget that day if we are to have a meaningful conversation.

    "The images in President Bush's campaign television ads are respectful of the memories of Sept. 11."

    Jimmy Boyle, former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, spearheaded the letter, signed by 22 people who lost loved ones in the trade center attacks.


    Boyle, who said he will be voting for a Republican president for the first time in November, said he decided to ask other families to sign the letter after hearing that the president was being criticized for using Sept. 11 images in campaign ads.

    "I don't think he's taking advantage of Sept. 11, and I feel that he's given us the leadership that we need," Boyle said.

    The images include the U.S. flag flying in front of the ruins. Another shows firefighters removing the flag-draped remains of a victim.

    "Families are enraged," said Bill Doyle, 57, whose son, Joseph, died in the attacks. "What I think is distasteful is that the president is trying to use 9/11 as a springboard for his re-election. It's entirely wrong. He's had 3,500 deaths on his watch, including Iraq."

    Several family members said their annoyance stemmed in part from Bush's refusal to testify publicly before the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

    "The Bush administration will not cooperate fully with the 9/11 commission, and at the same time, they are trying to invoke and own 9/11 and use it for his re-election," said Stephen Push, whose wife died on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

    Also yesterday, Bush continued talks with Mexican President Vicente Fox, who was at the ranch to discuss immigration and other issues.

    http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/20058.htm
    With Post Wire Services

    Photo Below
    PREZ-ENTATION: Mexico's President Vicente Fox joins President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, yesterday, where Bush defended his use of 9/11 ads.

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    9/11 ad images just perfect

    9/11 ad images just perfect


    O. Ricardo

    Pimentel
    Republic

    columnist
    Mar. 11, 2004 12:00 AM


    President Bush should use a whole lot of Sept. 11 images in his political advertising. As many as he can find.

    He is quite correct. His handling of our affairs during this crisis and what he says we did as a result are valid issues in this campaign. If presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry can invoke his Vietnam War hero status in his campaign, he can hardly complain if Bush invokes the conflict thrust upon him.

    Both 9/11 and what Bush contends was the natural outgrowth, the Iraq war, were transforming events for the nation. So, even if that scene of Bush serving Thanksgiving turkey to the troops in Iraq appears in some campaign spot, this too should not cause much anguish.

    In fact, we should all fervently hope that he uses every evocative 9/11 image he can find for such naked political advantage.

    These will be wonderful segues for useful lines of inquiry. We could, for sure, talk about the great job the president did in uniting a nation and the world behind us. We can give him kudos for marshalling this goodwill for a very necessary undertaking in Afghanistan to hit al-Qaida and root out its sponsors, the Taliban.

    But we shouldn't stop there. We can also talk about how he squandered this goodwill for an optional war in Iraq that had nothing to do with the war on terrorism. And then we can talk - at length, we should hope - about all he told Americans, Kerry among them, to get them to back what can properly be described as a major distraction from what should have been the tasks at hand, terrorism, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

    It was a distraction even if, as the president now argues, it has now become a war on terrorism simply because our presence in Iraq has attracted so many terrorists to us there. This is a case of setting a house fire and then patting yourself on the back for trying to douse it.

    It was a distraction, even though the war resulted in ousting a tyrant. This is a matter of congratulating yourself because the house fire that you set means the insurance company pays for a new home.

    And it will still have been a distraction even if we kill or capture bin Laden sometime soon. Though Kerry will have to be careful not to have a Howard Dean moment if he raises the question, it will be valid to ask how much sooner the killing or capture would have happened without the distraction of a war induced by false fears about weapons of mass destruction. And we can ask how soon it would have happened had that international goodwill been funneled for a specific purpose.

    If Bush's leadership record as the wartime commander in chief is relevant, so then is a comparison with Kerry's leadership both during and after the Vietnam War, his transforming event. And we can then draw that straight line to connect the dot that was Bush's service during Vietnam, particularly since he is asking thousands of reservists and National Guardsmen to do what he was assiduously avoiding.

    All of this is fair game and so - as Bush already argues - is Kerry's Senate leadership on defense issues.

    The criticism so far amounts to: he voted for the war and now he's flip-flopping. Which, of course, is a pretty good description of a significant portion of the electorate who supported the war and now have serious misgivings given all that "faulty intelligence" that allegedly duped the president.

    The GOP is also sifting through Kerry's Senate votes for signs that he is soft on security. In other words, hunting for leverage to paint him as a Dukakis-like "Massachusetts liberal." And the problem with this, of course, is that there really is no crime in not falling in love with every weapons program the Pentagon says it wants.

    This is generally called being a careful steward of the national treasure and is not likely to lose him many, if any, Democratic or independent votes.

    But the image President Bush should really use is the one of him in a flight suit aboard that aircraft carrier with that "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background.

    Bring that one on. Please.

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...imentel11.html

    Reach Pimentel at ricardo.pimentel@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8210. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

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