ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

USA Today 's Benedetto and Kasindorf report that each candidate contended that "the other is not capable of fighting the war on terror or managing the violent aftermath of war in Iraq" on Monday. LINK

The Raleigh News & Observer 's Lynn Bonner's headline reads: "Bush lead grows in N.C." LINK

In his latest Wall Street Journal column, Alan Murray fact checks Kitty Kelley. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Today, the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign releases its second television ad in two days, "Peace and Security," as well as a radio ad, "Facts," ABC News' Karen Travers reports.

The television ad ("Peace and Security") will rotate in on national cable and local markets in battleground states. The radio ad ("Facts") will being airing today in local markets.

The TV ad focuses on national security and leads with this statement: "History's lesson . . . strength builds peace . . . weakness invites those who would do us harm."

The spot builds on President Bush and Vice President Cheney's campaign rhetoric where they tout going on the offense and using force to defeat terrorism as opposed to Senator Kerry who they say would wait until the U.S. is attacked before taking action.

It also highlights the theme that the BC04 campaign has been pushing over the last week: that Senator Kerry's rhetoric on Iraq shows weakness and mixed signals that emboldens and aids the enemy

Finally, it looks at Senator Kerry's record in Congress on national security issues, linking him with "congressional liberals" voting on intelligence budgets, weapons systems and the $87 billion Iraq supplement.

The radio ad is an expanded version of the TV ad, touching on the same themes.

Script: "Peace and Security"

Voice Over:History's lesson … Strength builds peace … Weakness invites those who would do us harm. Unfortunately, after the first World Trade Center attack, John Kerry and congressional liberals tried to slash six billion dollars from intelligence budgets. And tried to cut or eliminate over 40 weapons now fighting the War on Terror. And refused to support our troops in combat with the latest weapons and body armor.

Graphic: John Kerry & Congressional Liberals. Putting Our Protection at Risk

President Bush:I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Script: "Facts"

President Bush:I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.


Voice Over:What does it take to lead America in the War on Terror? Steadiness, a commitment to make decisions based on what's right, not political expediency. John Kerry and his liberal allies in Congress want us to believe they're strong on national defense. But the facts speak otherwise.

FACT: Just one year after the first World Trade Center attack, Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to cut our intelligence budgets by 6 billion dollars.

FACT: Over the past 20 years, they have fought to cancel or reduce 40 key weapons now being used by our troops in combat to protect them and America in the War on Terror.

FACT: After voting to authorize the use of force in Iraq, they voted against funding our troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

How can John Kerry and his liberal allies protect us when they voted against what America needs to fight the War on Terror?

BC04 senior adviser Karen Hughes made the morning show rounds today.

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