Tom Matzzie, the Washington Director of MoveOn.org PAC, sends a love note to Ari Fleischer:
Dear Ari Fleischer,
Thank you. The news today about a $15 million TV ad campaign targeting Republicans in the name of a group called "Freedom Watch" is probably the best thing we could want right now. It is a gift.
The revival of your role as salesman-in-chief for the White House’s failed war policy is also welcome. We were looking for a way to connect this mysterious “Freedom Watch” outfit to the White House Iraq PR machine. And then it turned out that you made our job very simple—you are in charge. This is the “White House Ad campaign.”
Our researchers tell us your ads are targeting 90% Republicans (37 out of 41). We’ve had strong fundraising but we never thought a $15 million TV buy was in the works. Every extra minute of TV time talking about Iraq is another drip, drip, drip of bad news for politicians who won’t break with Bush. So, thanks.
I hope we can meet in person. Perhaps your schedule is clear now that you are no longer a witness in the Libby trial or a spokesperson for the White House. (Have you thought about writing a fiction novel about yellowcake and Niger?)
Also, how do you define “progress” in Iraq? This is now the bloodiest summer since the war began. Already 243 Americans have been killed in June, July and August. Last year 169. In 2005, 217 were killed. 162 in in 2003 and 113 in 2003. The Iraqi parliament is on vacation. Nearly half the Iraqi cabinet is boycotting the government. The surge has failed.
Now, for the first time, we’re not the only campaign on Iraq making Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, Mitch McConnell and others look over their shoulders. If I were you I wouldn’t answer phone calls from the NRSC, the NRCC or the RNC. I don’t think they’re too happy about these ads.
Washington Director, MoveOn.org Political Action
campaign manager, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq
Tom also includes a more complete chart of targets than what I listed earlier, which includes three more Democrats -- Brad Ellsworth in IN-08, John Barrow in GA-12, and Stephanie Herseth in SD-AL. The ad also targets South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, but curiously avoids mentioning Tim Johnson. Apparently, that's their attempt at staying "classy".
A total of 37 Republicans are joining the four Democrats targeted by the ads.
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