- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrats yesterday announced plans to run TV ads in states where President Bush would be campaigning for congressional candidates between now and Nov. 5, hoping to switch the subject to the economy and on their terms rather than his.

"We are halfway through the president's term," said Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "Our economy is in shambles, you cannot get this president or his economic team to address economic issues. This is the worst economic team we've seen since Herbert Hoover."

Mr. Bush has been talking increasingly about the economy as well as national security as he campaigns. A week ago in Michigan, he said: "Till I'm satisfied that people can find work, I'm going to stay on the economy."

The Democrats say they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars between now and the Nov. 5 midterm elections on two 30-second TV ads that focus on economic problems.

In one of the ads, a young husband is getting ready for work with his wife in the background.

She asks him: "So, first day of the new job, ready for the big adventure?" He responds: "Ready as I'll ever be."

The narrator then says: "$175 billion in savings gone, over 2 million jobs lost. Many seniors starting over, looking for work."

The ad, produced by the firm Penczner Burton, cuts to a senior citizen getting ready for work with his wife in the background. "So, first day of the new job, ready for the big adventure?" she asks him, and he shrugs and replies: "Ready as I'll ever be."

That ad and others "will be run wherever the president travels," Mr. McAuliffe said.

Another DNC ad features a couple talking about their lost retirement in between scenes of corporate executives refusing to testify in hearings about corporate scandals. The Democrats say they will distribute two other ads in coming days.

They also plan to distribute the ads to the House and Senate campaign committees as well as to state parties to use however they wish.

The president is traveling to Maine and Pennsylvania today and plans a Southern swing Thursday through North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Those trips are part of an aggressive travel schedule to competitive states in the dwindling days before the elections.

In addition to blaming Mr. Bush for economic problems, the DNC chairman mocked the president's recent focus on the economy.

"This is a blessing. This is what we have been waiting for," Mr. McAuliffe said. "I thank the president and his advisers for giving us this opportunity to engage on the economic debate."

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