Another in a series evaluating the accuracy of political advertising.
Candidate: Vice President Gore
Markets: Iowa and New Hampshire
Time: 30 seconds
Producer: Century Media
Audio: I think it's just unconscionable at a time when we have the strongest economy in history, we're the wealthiest nation on Earth, to have millions and millions of children who have no health care coverage at all. We ought to change that. And we ought to start by making a commitment to have affordable, high-quality health care for every child in America before the end of the next president's term. And we can do that within a balanced budget. Then we can go down the road toward coverage for every single American.
Analysis: Gore, in shirtsleeves, tries to rise above the minutiae of the health care debate by making an appeal from the heart, punctuated by heartwarming images of toddlers and babies. The ad seeks to credit the Clinton-Gore administration for the strong economy, but sidesteps its failure to seek coverage for 44 million uninsured Americans since the 1994 debacle over the president's health legislation.
The vice president has been attacking rival Bill Bradley's broader health plan as too expensive, but the ad contains only the subtlest of jabs, with Gore saying he would live within a balanced budget. The ad provides no information about cost. (Gore would spend $315 billion over 10 years to cover an additional 15 million people; Bradley would spend up to $650 billion during that period to cover as many as 39 million. Bradley disputes Gore's charge that the cost would be much higher and would wipe out the federal budget surplus.) Gore is slightly defensive about his incremental approach, saying he'll head "down the road" toward universal coverage after 2005.