Former White House aides are joining Republican fundraisers in bankrolling a $15 million, five-week advertising campaign putting pressure on lawmakers whose backing of President Bush's Iraq war strategy may be wavering.
The group, Freedom's Watch, launched the ads Wednesday, even as Bush delivered a renewed call for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq. The money will pay for ad placements on national cable and local television stations as well as on radio and the Internet.
I live in Indiana, home to Dick Lugar, one of the biggest voices, if not the biggest, on foreign policy in the Senate, who recently advocated reducing the troop commitment to Iraq. Lugar is a Republican.
The AP indicates that the $15 million ad campaign is directed primarily at Republicans:
The ads will run in 20 states and will urge viewers to ask their member of Congress to stand by Bush's plan. Organizers of the effort would not identify the targeted lawmakers, but a review of the initial TV ad placements done by a group opposed to the war shows most of them are in Republican congressional districts.
While I was pretty weirded out by the ad's reliance on the foreign policy expertise of someone presented without qualifications (although "qualifications" on the subject of Iraq haven't translated into knowledge or valid information in the past, so maybe this is a better approach) and bizarre yet tired implication that 9/11 was caused by Iraq, I'm actually kinda enjoying the fact that Republicans are turning against their own.
Oh, and don't try that number at the end unless you're on their side of the argument. From IraqCampaign.org via DailyKos:
[A]n operator who gives you the White House talking points and asks you to take a survey about the war on terror BEFORE they will connect you with Congress.
Go ahead. Give it a whirl.
Ari Fleischer brings Bush "town hall" screening tactics - come in tell us what you think. First, you need to take a test to see if we agree.