Bush Campaign Criticized for Borrowing Nazi Images From MoveOn.org Ad
(CNSNews.com) - The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry is criticizing President Bush for featuring Nazi images in an ad on his official reelection campaign website, but the images in question come from an ad featured on the website of liberal advocacy group.
Phil Singer, spokesman for the Kerry campaign, said using Nazi images is "simply wrong"" by any campaign, politician or party. He said it's not only insensitive but diminishes Bush's credibility as president.
"The fact that George Bush thinks it's appropriate to use images of Adolf Hitler in his campaign raises serious questions about his fitness to spend another four years in the White House," said Singer in a statement.
"Adolf Hitler slaughtered millions of innocent people and has no place in a campaign that is supposed to be about the future and hope of this nation," added Singer.
"The President's use of these images during a month that evoked the memory of World War II is remarkably insensitive to the sacrifices of the millions of people who lost their lives during Hitler's reign of terror," he said.
The Anti-Defamation League also expressed disappointment with the Bush campaign's use of the Nazi images.
"Using images of Hitler and terminology from the Nazi regime in campaign attacks is offensive and demeaning to the memory of the six million and others who died in the Holocaust," said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the ADL, in a press release.
But this is not the first time the intermingling of Nazi images and politics were found on a website.
Earlier this year, Moveon.org organized an ad contest, and one of the ads that were submitted and posted on the website for judging portrayed President George Bush as Adolf Hitler. The winner of the contest would win air time during the president's 2004 state of the union address.
A spokesman for the Bush campaign told CNSNews.com the images on their website serve a different purpose than that of Moveon.org.
"It is a web-video that we sent to our supporters so they can see examples of the kind of hateful and vitriolic rhetoric that we have seen from John Kerry's surrogates," said Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel.
"We are simply showing our supporters what the president's opponents have had to say about him and comparing that kind of hateful language to the president's positive optimistic vision," he added.
The ad begins with the words, "The following video contains remarks made by and images from ads sponsored by Kerry supporters. John Kerry has denounced our use of these ads attacking the President. He has not denounced liberal supporters like Al Gore, George Soros, and many others who have made speeches comparing the President to Adolf Hitler."
The ad continues with the words: "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party - The Coalition of the Wild-Eyed." Former Vice President Al Gore is shown yelling, "How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison."
The video then shows the words: "What were war crimes in 1945 - foreign policy in 2003, sponsored by Moveon.org." That is followed by a collage of video featuring various liberals.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is featured saying, "I want my country back," followed by filmmaker Michael Moore saying, "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons." Then Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt is shown saying, "This president is a miserable failure."
The words "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them" are shown over top of a picture of Adolf Hitler while Hitler is heard speaking in German. The picture of Hitler disappears and is replaced by a picture of Bush, while the words "...and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did," are centered on the screen. That portion of the video is clearly marked "images from a MoveOn.org ad."
The ad continues with footage of Gore yelling, "He betrayed this country. He played on our fears." Then Kerry is shown, saying "Today ... George Bush will lay off your camel, tax your shovel, kick your [bleep] and tell you there is no Promised Land."
The ad concludes with the words: "This is not a time for pessimism and rage..." Then a picture of Bush is featured, with the words: "It's a time for optimism, steady leadership, and progress."
Both parties have been advised by the Anti-Defamation League to refrain from using the Nazi images.
"After a proliferation of references to Hitler and the Nazis began appearing in the wind-up to the Presidential election season, we called on the Democratic and Republican parties to refrain from adopting Nazi imagery as a political attack tool," said Foxman in a statement.
"We had hoped then that both parties had heard our concerns. For us, this is neither a Democratic nor a Republican issue, but rather a matter of respecting the feelings of those who could be offended by such images, including Jewish Holocaust survivors and their families."
See Earlier Story:
RNC Takes Moveon.org to Task Over Bush/Hitler Ads (Jan. 5, 2004)
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