Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc.

30-second ad announced Aug. 22, 2004.

John Kerry (Voiceover):  I'm John Kerry and I approve this message.


[Music] Male Announcer: American soldiers are fighting in Iraq.


Families struggle to afford health care.


Jobs heading overseas.


Instead of solutions, George Bush's campaign supports a front group attacking John Kerry's military record.  Attacks called smears, lies.  Sen. McCain calls them dishonest.


Bush smeared John McCain four years ago.  Now, he's doing it to John Kerry.


George Bush: Denounce the smear.  Get back to the issues.  America deserves better.

On the screen:  1. Clip of Kerry in a town hall setting (from the NH primary).  2. Soldiers in the desert.  3. Man and woman looking at a paper.  4. Worker turns to look at the camera.  5. Clip of Bush; below add text "no solutions" then add text "Bush attacks"  6. Add newspaper tears.  7. Photo of McCain and text "McCain calls 'Dishonest'"  8. Add newsclip.  9. Add image of Bush on the left side of the screen.  10. Split screen shows Kerry in Vietnam on left, Bush on right.  11. Text screen "George Bush: Denounce the smear: Get back to the issues"  12. Text (in red white and blue "America deserves better"
Notes and ObservationsThe Bush-Cheney campaign sent this letter to station managers...

Dear Station Manager:


Your station is being asked to run an ad from John Kerry's presidential campaign wrongly accusing Bush-Cheney '04 of violating the campaign finance laws.  We ask that your station set the record straight.


It is completely false and without any evidence that the Bush "campaign supports a front group attacking John Kerry's military record," as the Kerry ad states.  The Bush-Cheney campaign flatly rejects this baseless allegation of illegal coordination between Bush-Cheney '04 and a group called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.   The ad running on your station contains this false and libelous charge.  Coordination with Swiftboat Veterans for Truth would be a violation of federal campaign finance laws.  11 C.F.R. 109.21.


Sadly, the Kerry campaign is using this falsehood for which it publicly admits it has no evidence to distract attention and gain free publicity.  Attached is a verified transcript from a CNN interview in which Mr. Kerry's own spokesman, Tad Devine, could not present even one piece of hard evidence to back up the Kerry campaign's allegations. 


The attached CNN Inside Politics verified transcript shows that Kerry campaign spokesman Devine is basing his charges solely on a newspaper article, "'s in the New York Times today."   However, not even this newspaper article presents evidence of "coordination."  What has been reported are the Kerry campaign's unsubstantiated charges along with the explicit denial from the Bush-Cheney campaign. In fact, after inquiring about the alleged coordination reported in the New York Times story relied on by Mr. Devine, Wolf Blitzer, based on an earlier interview with a reporter who wrote the New York Times story, corrected Devine by stating, "They don't have any hard evidence backing it up."  In other words, the allegation contained in the commercial running on you


The Kerry campaign is hiding behind the law which does not permit your station to reject this false advertising by a candidate.  But your station can insure that the record is clear in your total program.  We ask that you to do that.




Ken Mehlman

Campaign Manager


CNN Inside Politics 8/20/04: Tad Devine


WOLF BLITZER: Let's go now to the John Kerry campaign. I'm joined live by campaign senior strategist Tad Devine.

Tad, thanks very much for joining us. Where's the hard evidence directly linking the Bush White House or the Bush-Cheney campaign to these ads as alleged yesterday by John Kerry?

TAD DEVINE, SR. STRATEGIST KERRY CAMPAIGN: Well, Wolf, it's in "The New York Times" today. There's a big chart. You know, you can take a look at it. OK?

The connections, the web of connections between this effort and the campaign are obvious for anyone to see. And, by the way, Wolf, this is part of pattern.

This is what George Bush does. He did it precisely against John McCain. They have others front for them, do their dirty work for them. They stand there and do nothing. And for the president of the

They take these people. Once removed from the campaign -- and obviously they're doing it deliberately that way. They do not want the legal connections between the campaign, they're once removed from the campaign. Every time we look closer and closer at this, this is what we discover....

BLITZER: All right.

DEVINE: .... the connections between the campaign and the lies and distortions at the heart of the Swift Boat Veterans.

BLITZER: All right. So let me repeat the question. Name some names, the connections between the campaign or the White House, on the one hand, and these Swift Boat Veterans, those who are funding these ads on the other. Go ahead. Connect the dots.

DEVINE: Well, Wolf -- Wolf, I don't know how it can be anymore explicitly clear than it is in the chart in today's "New York Times." I mean, it's laid out pe e this, we'd have to go to court, we'd have to depose people, we'd have to put them under oath, we'd have to subject them to all the process of a legal examination. I think the facts are obvious here. It's for everyone to see.

A bunch of rich guys from
Texas with long connections to the Bush campaign come out and try to destroy a veteran of the Vietnam War. It happened twice. They did it once in 2000; they're trying to do it again in 2004. The only difference is it's not going to succeed this time. That's the big difference.

BLITZER: Let me throw it this way to you.



BLITZER: There are a bunch of rich Democrats out there, a bunch of active Democratic activists out there who are involved in all sorts of 527 independent ad campaigns smearing the president of the
United States and the vice president right now. Because they have a long history working with other Democrats, with Kerry supporters and strategists, does it make them in violation of the law as well?

DEVINE: Wolf, when John McCain challenged Senator Kerry days ago to denounce an ad attacking the president's lack of service in the National Guard, within hours Senator Kerry spoke up publicly and denounced the ad. It's so different from what this president is doing.