W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 12 -- Vice President Al Gore is accusing Republicans of dirty tricks for running a television ad that flashes the word “RATS” on screen for a split second.
“I’ve seen the pictures from the ad,” the vice president told reporters as he campaigned in Ohio today. “I find this a very disappointing development. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I think the ad speaks for itself.”
In a Republican National Committee commercial criticizing Gore on health care, the word “RATS” appears on screen for a brief moment before the full word “bureaucrats” appears.
But GOP nominee George W. Bush dismissed the notion that the visual effect was intended to subliminally manipulate voters, as the Gore campaign has suggested.
“The idea of putting subliminal messages into ads is ridiculous,” Bush told reporters this morning in Orlando, Fla. “One frame out of 900 hardly, in my judgment, makes a conspiracy.”
Ad Man Denies Dirty Tricks
The 30-second spot, which has run in several battleground states, touts the Republican candidate’s plan for adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, arguing that seniors would have more control over their health care under Bush’s proposal.
Under the Gore plan, the ad says, drug coverage would be run by bureaucrats.
Words flash on the screen to echo the announcer’s message: “TheGore prescription plan: Bureaucrats decide.”
As the announcer says “Bureaucrats decide,” the word “RATS,” in large capital letters, flashes on and off the screen just as thephrase “Bureaucrats decide,” appears.
“I’m responsible for the advertisements that are run in my name,” Gore told reporters aboard his campaign bus in Ohio today. “My staff would not do this.”
But the man who crafted the ad for the RNC denied he was trying to send any subliminal messages.