Ad Watch: Anti-War Ads Target College Students
An anti-war campaign funded in part by MoveOn.org, labor unions and other liberal groups is set to begin running TV ads on Monday in four areas of the country. The ads criticize GOP members of Congress for supporting the Iraq war.
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) will run the ads in the districts of Reps. Thelma Drake (Va.), Phil English (Pa.) and Fred Upton (Mich.), as well as Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the Senate Minority Leader.
Set to ominous music, the ads begin with black-and-white images of each member and an announcer describing their support for the war. The ads then reference comments by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Lt. Gen. Doug Lute, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan. Lute told NPR this week he thinks a new military draft should be one of many options on the table to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
AAEI is betting that Lute's comments won't go over well with college kids returning to classes this month, so the campaign will air during local ad segments on MTV, ESPN and the broadcast networks -- channels that are popular with co-eds.
"This is definitely an issue that's on the minds of many young people, so we're going to continue to work with young people on this issue as they head back to school in the fall," said Moira Mack of AAEI. "We decided to run ads on these four member of Congress, because they have a lot of students in their districts," Mack added.
Here is the ad targeting Rep. Drake:
In a statement, Drake said Thursday that, "True to form, Moveon.Org and its shadow coalition is once again playing the role of attack dog for the Democratic Party. ... When Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel floated the idea of reinstituting the draft in 2003 as well as last November, I adamantly opposed it. I continue to believe that the success of our military is rooted in the patriotism and resolve of our all-volunteer fighting force."
AAEI has targeted Sen. McConnell before, as we reported last month. In response, McConnell's office referenced the senator's comments on July 17, when he said, "I think we need to give General Petraeus an opportunity to give his report in September, as others have indicated, and make a judgment at that time." His office also referenced the ad below, produced by Vets for Freedom that began airing last Sunday. It thanks Sen. McConnell for his support of the war:
As for Rep. English, spokeswoman Julia Wanzco said the congressman voted against the surge strategy. "These ads lack substance, and are more about cheap Democratic political stunts, then about solving the current problems with Iraq. They have nothing to do with the Congressman's record."
Comment from Rep. Upton's office was not immediately available.
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