Fact Check: North Carolina GOP attack ads

April 28, 2008 10:12:55 AM PDT
In North Carolina Friday night, a conservative ad-man is trying to do to Barack Obama, what he did to Michael Dukakis 20 years ago.

"Reprehensible," that's the word our partners at FactCheck.org are using to describe the latest ad from Floyd G. Brown. He's a guy you probably never heard of, but you've seen his work.

In 1988, a famous political hit piece on Michael Dukakis was put together by a group whose political director was Floyd G. Brown.

Now Brown is one of the main supporters of another very similar attack, aimed at Senator Barack Obama, claiming that as a State Senator, Obama voted against expanding the death penalty for gang related murders.

"When the time came to get tough, Obama chose to be weak," said the ad.

Factcheck: The author of the Death Penalty Bill that Obama voted against says the ad is tasteless and reprehensible and completely mischaracterizes Obama's position on criminals.

Obama said he was against the bill because it was overly broad and Illinois' Republican governor vetoed the bill for the same reason.

"Can a man so weak on the war on gangs, be trusted in the war on terror?" said the ad.

Fackcheck: Obama has supported the death penalty for terrorists; he was one of 10 senators sponsoring that legislation.

There is another Obama attack ad that is set to run this Monday.

The ad, sponsored by the North Carolina Republican Party, goes after Obama through the statements of his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The ad criticizes two Democratic gubernatorial candidates for supporting Obama. Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton face off in North Carolina a week from Tuesday.

"That's not the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan," said Senator John McCain (R).

Senator McCain said this week he doesn't like the ad and has called on the North Carolina GOP not to run it.

And two T.V. stations, including the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, have said they won't the air ad, calling it offensive.

"It's right here so this is the one that's on MoveOn.org right now," said Jim Sugar.

In Mill Valley, photographer Jim Sugar has been working on a pro-Obama ad as part of a contest sponsored by MoveOn.org.

Suger's ad is one of 1,100 ads submitted to compete for a spot on national television.

"It came to me in a dream, I put the pieces together," said Sugar. "And I knew when I started this, there would be people who had Hollywood backgrounds with very professional, very professional skills and friends."

One of those Hollywood people has already cut an ad for Hillary Clinton. Jack Nicholson used video clips from his movies to illustrate his choice.

"There's nothing on this Earth sexier than, believe me gentlemen, than a woman that you have to solute in the morning," says Jack Nicholson's character in 'A Few Good Men.'

In Clinton's match up with Obama in North Carolina, the GOP ad could hurt Obama, but it'll have to hurt a lot to help Clinton; she trails there by 15 points with a week and a half to go.

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