AD WATCH | Evaluating the accuracy of political advertising
Lieberman on Dean's 'Anger'
Tuesday, January 6, 2004; Page A04
Candidate: Joseph I. Lieberman
Markets: South Carolina, Oklahoma
Producer: Integrity Minded Media
Time: 30 seconds
Audio: [Lieberman:] I love America, but I hate the direction in which George Bush is taking us. [Announcer:] How do we defeat George Bush's extreme agenda? It'll take more than extreme anger. Joe Lieberman has spent 30 years rejecting the extremes of both parties. Fighting against discrimination. Taking on corporate polluters. Helping protect children from trash culture. Standing strong against terrorism. Championing tax cuts for the middle class. Joe Lieberman: the integrity to fight for what's right.
Analysis: This is an anti-Howard Dean ad that doesn't mention Dean's name. Lieberman acknowledged this on ABC, and "everyone is quite clear what we're talking about," his media adviser, Mandy Grunwald, said yesterday. The Connecticut senator is seizing on a recent spate of stories about Dean's temperament -- and trying to position himself as the moderate alternative to the more liberal Dean -- without risking a backlash by suggesting the party's front-runner is extreme as well as angry.
Lieberman was a leading critic of violent and sexually explicit entertainment in the 1990s but has barely talked about it in the campaign until this ad's line about "trash culture." He has opposed discrimination since marching with Martin Luther King, but voiced doubts in 1995 about whether affirmative action was turning into quotas.
For Lieberman, who skipped Iowa and is badly trailing Dean in New Hampshire, the choice of the Feb. 3 states of South Carolina and Oklahoma reflects a strategy of pinning his candidacy on the more conservative southern and western states voting that day.
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