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Inside Politics

Bush TV ads tout 'steady leadership'

The Bush-Cheney campaign plans to launch a $4.5 million ad campaign Thursday.
The Bush-Cheney campaign plans to launch a $4.5 million ad campaign Thursday.

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America Votes 2004
George W. Bush

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The first TV ads of President Bush's re-election campaign vow that the United States is turning the corner after a difficult period and that he's a steady commander in chief who can provide "leadership in times of change."

The three spots, set to roll out Thursday, will be shown on national cable networks, including CNN, and local stations in key battleground states.

The Bush-Cheney campaign has bought at least $4.5 million in advertising time for the initial blitz, the first trickle out of a war chest of more than $100 million.

One of the ads lasts a minute; the other two are 30 seconds each, with one of them recorded in English and Spanish.

All were produced before Sen. John Kerry's victories in the Super Tuesday contests that effectively assured him the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush's initial ads are positive, but campaign sources did not rule out negative ads focusing on Kerry in the near future.

"One of the things that must never change is the entrepreneurial spirit of America. This country needs a president who clearly sees that," Bush says in one ad, according to transcripts provided by the campaign.

"And as the economy grows, the job base grows, and somebody who's looking for work will be more likely to find a job. I know exactly where I want to lead this country."

In another ad, video and graphics list a series of challenges the country has faced since Bush took office in January 2001, including "an economy in recession, a stock market in decline," the end of the dot-com boom and the September 11 attacks, "a test for all Americans."

"Today, America is turning the corner. Rising to the challenge," the graphics say. "Safer, stronger. President Bush. Steady leadership in times of change."

In the third ad, a voice says, "The last few years have tested America in many ways.

"America rose to the challenge. What sees us through tough times? Freedom, faith, families and sacrifice."

The ad ends with the voice saying, "President Bush. Steady leadership in times of change."

The ads will target sports programming and markets decided by relatively narrow margins in 2000.

Campaign sources said those markets likely will include Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

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