Manchester, NH (CNSNews.com) - Senator Orrin Hatch, whom many in New Hampshire characterize as "the stealth candidate," has taken to the air with a 30-minute television spot.
But rather than pointing out the differences between himself and his GOP presidential opponents, the long time Utah legislator uses much of the half hour to attack the Clinton Administration, calling it "the most deceitful and corrupt in our nation's history."
The spot, on which the campaign spent $50,000, has aired twice in New Hampshire, site of the nation's first presidential primary, and twice in Iowa, where the first caucus will be held.
The ad features Hatch speaking directly to the camera. As he begins, Hatch tells viewers he decided to dispense with the traditional 30 second ads, in favor of a longer statement because, "We need to get at what is bothering us, to find out why too many Americans feel the country is on the wrong track and see what we can do to get our national morale back to where it belongs."
Hatch tells the audience, "It's impossible to move ahead, unless we air out what happened when the Clinton Administration took office."
And for much of the next 28 minutes, Hatch, staring into the camera, does just that, discussing taxes, crime, the administration's ill-fated health care proposal and a series of moral-legal issues, including what he characterized as the misuse of federal agencies, illegal campaign contributions and China's influence in the 1996 presidential campaign.
Despite his litany of concerns, Hatch never mentioned the impeachment trial or Clinton's sexual indiscretions, including his relationship with former White House Intern Monica Lewinsky.
To promote the televised spots, Hatch ran a series of newspaper ads in New Hampshire and Iowa.
While Hatch attacked Clinton, Steve Forbes aired a pro-life ad in Iowa and will do the same in New Hampshire this week. The 30-second spot features three women, all of whom speak to the audience, and includes a tight shot of a live fetus, as seen on ultrasound.
"When I saw my child's ultrasound, I mean, there was my tiny child's heart beating, arms waving," said the first lady.
"I remember thinking, what would she grow up to be," said the second.
"If someone kills a pet, it's called a crime. If someone aborts a child, it's called a choice," said the third woman.
Forbes soon appears on camera and says, "I want to protect the right of all Americans, including the unborn, but I need your support to make this happen."
While all the Republican candidates insist they are pro-life, there have been virtually no ads on the subject, on the part of any campaign.
Forbes continues to flood New Hampshire airwaves with an ad featuring a Texas woman who insists Bush has broken a no-new tax pledge made to her Houston-based organization of small business owners. In the spot, the anti-tax advocate accuses Bush of having "a record of broken promises," on taxes.
With the ad paid for by the Forbes campaign, Bush now accuses the long time publisher of choosing to run "a negative campaign."
On the Democratic side, Gore has a spot featuring Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, in which Gore is praised for being the only candidate who cares about farmers. The ad does not mention Bradley by name.
In a spot airing in both New Hampshire and Iowa, Bradley contends "the real risk" to America lies with candidates who do nothing about such issues as gun control, child poverty and helping the uninsured. The Bradley campaign denies the "do nothing" label is intended to describe Gore, whose name is not uttered in the spot.