January 29, 2007, 6:28 pm
VoteVets Aims at G.O.P. Senators
By Sarah Wheaton
VoteVets.org, the group who sponsored controversial ads aimed at vulnerable G.O.P. incumbents last year, is back at it. This time, it is attacking Republican senators from purplish states who have expressed opposition to President Bush’s troop increase but have declined to support the original, harsher Senate resolution condemning the plan.
The ad features several veterans each saying a line:When it comes to Iraq, America is divided.
On the one hand, you’ve got two-thirds of the American people,
A bipartisan majority in Congress.
The Iraq Study Group.
And veterans like us, all opposed to the escalation.
The next shot is wider and shows a veteran whose arm has been partially amputated: He says:
On the other hand, there’s George Bush, who supports escalation. If you support escalation, you don’t support the troops.
(This campaign is remarkably similar to one used during the midterms, when a veteran sitting at a table said, “Republican Congressman [name here] voted to increase his pay while voting to cut health care benefits for veterans like me. That may make sense from where he sits in Congress… But not from where I’m sitting.” The shot panned out to show the man in a wheelchair.)
General Wesley Clark, a potential candidate for the Democrats’ presidential nomination in 2008, is on the VoteVets.org board of advisors, and the new ad is posted on YouTube under his username and his WESPAC also is soliciting money for the ad. Mr. Clark is expected to address, as are the other possible 2008′ers, the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting in Washington, D.C. later this week.
Today and Tuesday, a group of veterans, including Jon Soltz, the national chairman of VoteVets.org, are holding press conferences in the home states of each senator as the ad is debuted —- a new technique for the group. Local Iraq veterans are meeting the touring group at each location.
Here’s a list of the tour stops and targets:
St. Paul - Senator Norm Coleman
Indianapolis - Senator Richard Lugar
Columbus - Senator George Voinovich
Portland, Me. - Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins
Manchester, N.H. - Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu
Philadelphia - Senator Arlen Specter
Norfolk and Richmond – Senator John Warner