Kerry Spot Takes Aim at Bush

NEW YORK In a strong message to Democrats that John Kerry is the man the party needs to beat President George W. Bush in next year’s general election, an ad from the Massachusetts Senator criticizes the president on several fronts.

In “Carrier,” a 30-second TV commercial produced for the Kerry campaign by Washington D.C.-based Riverfront Media, a unit of GMMB & SDD Agencies, Bush’s much-publicized May 1 landing on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln is prominently featured.

The spot, which began airing in Iowa and New Hampshire on Nov. 11, shows a clip of the President in a flight suit after disembarking from an S-3B Viking refueling plane. The ad also recounts Kerry’s record, including his Vietnam service credentials, and flashes images from various stages of the Senator’s career.

“Carrier” takes direct aim at ongoing turmoil in Iraq after the President declared an end to major combat in the region. It opens with a banner reading “Mission Accomplished,” which was featured on the carrier during the President’s landing.

Jim Margolis, senior partner, GMMB, said the spot was a “significant buy” but would not divulge spending details.

“A fundamental question for most Democrats is ‘Who can take on George Bush and his record?'” said Margolis, who noted that the ad serves the purpose of contrasting Senator Kerry’s military and foreign affairs experience with President Bush’s inability to put together a broad coalition for Iraq and his record on domestic issues such as healthcare and hefty tax cuts for the wealthy.

The script for the “Carrier” ad includes an announcer who says in part, “Who can take on George Bush and change the direction of the nation? John Kerry. A leader on national security. A decorated combat veteran. Served on the Intelligence Committee and on the Foreign Relations Committee. John Kerry. He’s fighting for you, against the Bush tax giveaways for corporations and the wealthy. And his healthcare plan covers the uninsured and holds down costs.”

The tagline for the spot reads: “The courage to do what’s right for America.”