For Immediate Release
September 13, 1996
STATEMENT OF JOE LOCKHART
NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY
Bob Dole is complaining that Clinton/Gore ‘96 is running a negative campaign. Clinton/Gore ads are based on issue comparisons of Senator Dole’s voting record. Bob Dole is equating informing the public with running a negative campaign. Is Bob Dole admitting that his vote to cut Medicare by $270 billion and his consistent votes against the Family and Medical Leave Act were mistakes? Clearly, this newly discovered concern about negative campaigning is a thinly-veiled attempt to justify the multi-million dollar, negative smear campaign Bob Dole is planning to conduct.
Following is a fact sheet on Clinton/Gore vs. Bob Dole advertising.
Bob Dole: Laying The Groundwork For A Negative Smear Campaign
Clinton/Gore Ads Are 63% Positive, 37% Issue Comparison -- And 0% Personal Attack. The facts simply do not support Bob Dole’s contention that President Clinton has been waging a negative campaign. Sixty-three percent (63%) of the time in ads run by Clinton-Gore have provided positive information about the President’s record. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of the time in the ads has compared the President and Bob Dole on issues. Most importantly, zero percent (0%) of the time in Clinton/Gore ads has been negative, personal attacks on Bob Dole. [Squier/Knapp/Ochs Communications, 9/13/96]
Presidential Scholar Backs Up Positive Nature Of Clinton/Gore Ads. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed the 1996 presidential ad campaign. She concluded that this year -- so far -- the campaign ads have been more positive than in the past. On the Clinton/Gore ads, Ms. Jamieson said: "...what you’re seeing in many of these instances is Dole puts up an ad and Clinton comes...up on that subject immediately with an ad that addresses it. The Clinton ads are doing so in a comparative fashion, not simply attacking. And that’s positive.... When you get ads that compare, the electorate has more chance to learn, because you’re hearing something from both sides." [CNN, 9/9/96]
The Clinton/Gore Ads Aren’t Negative. Bob Dole’s Record Is Negative. If Bob Dole thinks it is negative to say he tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion -- then he shouldn’t have voted with Newt Gingrich to cut Medicare by $270 billion.
If Bob Dole thinks it is negative to say that he opposed putting 100,000 new police on the street -- then he shouldn’t have voted with Newt Gingrich against the President’s 1994 Anti-Crime Bill.
If Bob Dole thinks it is negative to say that he opposes allowing families unpaid time off at work to care for a sick parent or child -- then he shouldn’t have VOTED against the Family and Medical Leave Act. And he should stop campaigning against it.
Infamous For Dark Campaigns, Dole’s First Primary Ad Attacked The President. Remember Bob Dole’s history of dark, negative campaigning? Bob Dole: snapped at George Bush on national television in 1988, saying "Stop lying about my record!"; called World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam "Democrat wars..." during the 1976 vice presidential debate; and asked high school children, during his close 1974 re-election campaign, to go home and "ask your mother if she knows how many abortions" his opponent and OBGYN, Dr. Bill Roy, had performed. [NBC Nightly News, 2/17/88; 1976 CQ Almanac, (p. 17); UPI, transcript of 10/15/76 debate; New York Times, 11/8/87]
And 1996 has been no different. The very first television ad Bob Dole ran during the 1995 primary campaign was a negative attack on the President -- not a vision for where he wanted to lead the country.
With No One Buying Dole’s Economic Scheme, Bob Dole Is Going Negative. The bottom line? The facts do not support the Dole campaign’s contention that Clinton/Gore `96 is running a negative campaign. So why is Bob Dole saying this now? Simple, Dole is lagging in the polls. No one is buying his last-minute, risky economic scheme. And Dole has no new ideas about improving the future for working American families. The loud complaining is a thinly veiled attempt to justify the 11th hour, multi-million dollar, negative smear campaign Bob Dole is planning to conduct.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Election Committee, Inc.