The Democratic party has added a political-advertising campaign to its demands for an investigation of President Bush’s statement that the Iraqi government had sought uranium in Africa.
On Thursday the Democratic National Committee released a television ad, entitled “Read His Lips: President Bush Deceives the American People,” accusing Bush of lying when he mentioned the uranium issue in his State of the Union address.
The ad calls for a bipartisan investigation of the issue. It was produced by a group of veterans of the Clinton/Gore administration and several Democratic campaigns.
The ad begins with the words, “In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush told us of an imminent threat — ” It then cuts to a video clip of the president saying, “Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
The ad omits the first words of Bush’s statement, which read, in full, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
The government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it stands behind its intelligence assessment of the African uranium issue.
The DNC ad continues, “But now we find out that it wasn’t true. Far worse, the administration knew it wasn’t true. A year earlier, that claim was already proven to be false. The CIA knew it. The State Department knew it. The White House knew it. But he [the president] told us anyway.”
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice has said that she, and other top officials in the White House, did not know that the Iraqi/African uranium allegation was based on forged documents. In Africa Friday morning, Rice said the Central Intelligence Agency has approved Bush’s State of the Union address, including the portion that dealt with Africa and uranium.
“The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety,” Rice said. “If the CIA — the director of Central Intelligence — had said, ‘Take this out of the speech,’ it would have been gone…We wouldn’t put anything knowingly in the speech that was false.”
The Democratic ad concludes, “It’s time to tell the truth. Help hold George W. Bush accountable by calling for an independent, bipartisan investigation. Go to www.democrats.org/truth to sign the petition to make your voice heard. Because America deserves the truth.”
In a DNC press release accompanying the ad, party chairman Terry McAuliffe said, “To date, President Bush has only evaded questions on the topic, so we’re going to try something new by appealing directly to the people to demand his accountability, and I think the people are going to respond.”
The ad was produced by a company called QRS Newmedia, a Washington-based advertising and public affairs firm.
One of the firm’s managing partners is Laura Quinn, a former deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. Quinn has also served in positions with the Democratic National Committee and the Senate Democratic leadership.
The president of QRS Newmedia, Steve Rabinowitz, also worked in the Clinton White House. And the third partner, Mark Steitz, is a former director of communications at the DNC and top adviser to Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign.