One in a series of examinations of the accuracy of political advertising.
Candidate: Al Gore
Markets: Iowa and New Hampshire
Producer: Century Media Group
Time: 60 seconds
Audio: He saw his father defeated for the Senate because of his support of civil rights and gun control. And he came home from Vietnam doubting politics could make a difference. He studied religion at Vanderbilt, started a family and worked as a reporter exposing corruption...He won a seat in Congress and became a national leader on the environment. Stood against the tide, opposing the Reagan budget cuts on health, education and help for the poor. As vice president, he defied the gun lobby and cast the tie-breaking vote to keep guns away from criminals....Improved health care for every American. Affordable prescription drugs. Revolutionary improvements in education so our test scores can be the highest in the world. The young man who decided to fight for principle is still leading the way. Al Gore: Change that works for working families.
Analysis: In an effort to present the vice president as more than just a reserved Washington politician, this spot stresses Gore's youthful idealism. From the first black-and-white shots of Gore in an Army uniform to pictures with wife Tipper to the closing image of a jeans-clad Gore with a small girl, his media team casts the candidate as a compassionate family man and a fighter.
The description of Gore's Senate vote last May for restrictions on gun show purchases neglects to say that the bill never became law. Gore and President Clinton (who is never mentioned) have failed to convince Congress to act on Medicare payments for prescription drugs this year. Gore's proposals for wider availability of preschool programs and creation of a Teacher Corps are less than "revolutionary." But the ad crams in a litany of red-meat Democratic issues and even resurrects Ronald Reagan as a political target.