MoveOn PAC Takes On Bush

Times staff writer

MoveOn political action committee, a liberal group opposed to President Bush, launched this 30-second television commercial on CNN on Saturday, targeting a nationwide audience.


Narrator: “On the eve of war with Iraq, the Rev. Pat Robertson said he warned the president to prepare the American people for casualties. He said George Bush told him, ‘Oh no, we’re not going to have any casualties.’ No casualties? This is the same president who said: ‘Mission accomplished in Iraq ... millions of new jobs ... lower healthcare costs.’ Now this president wants four more years?”

Voice: “MoveOn PAC is responsible for the content of this advertisement.”

Images: A black-and-white picture of Bush. The word “wrong” flashes several times in red lettering to emphasize the group’s criticisms.


Analysis: This advertisement seeks to capitalize on a CNN interview with Robertson, a televangelist, which aired last week. Robertson, who supports Bush’s reelection, told the cable network about a private meeting he had with the Republican incumbent before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “I warned him about this war,” Robertson recounted. “I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties.” Bush replied, according to Robertson: “Oh no, we’re not going to have any casualties.” After the interview aired, the White House flatly denied that Bush said any such thing. Robertson issued a statement that did not retract his account but reiterated support for Bush. Robertson’s comments amplify a Democratic criticism of the president -- that he did not talk before the invasion about the scale of potential casualties the country faced in a war of uncertain duration. The ad also alludes to a Bush appearance on an aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003, to proclaim an end to major combat operations in a speech given next to a banner that read “Mission Accomplished.” A Pentagon website on Sunday reported 1,098 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and three Defense Department civilian deaths -- most of them after that Bush speech. In addition, 8,016 U.S. military personnel have been wounded in the war, and more than half of those have not returned to action.

Los Angeles Times

From Times Staff Writer Nick Anderson