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Dole Ad Calls Clinton ‘A Real Spend-and-Tax Liberal’

September 26, 1996

Details from a new Bob Dole campaign ad on President Clinton’s spending record.

Time: 30 seconds.

Title: ``Truth on Spending.″

Producer: Greg Stevens.

Text: (Announcer:) ``The truth: 484 new spending proposals costing us $432 billion in bigger government; a massive health care bureaucracy; thousands of wasteful projects like $2.5 million for alpine slides in Puerto Rico, $76 million for programs like midnight basketball; the largest tax increase in history. Yet Clinton says:″

(Clinton:) ``But I don’t think that qualifies me as a closet liberal.″

(Announcer:) ``That’s not what the facts say, Mr. Clinton. The real Bill Clinton? A real spend-and-tax liberal.″

Goal: To cast Clinton as a liberal, despite his recent embrace of policies traditionally associated with conservatives.

Analysis: This new ad, which begins airing in more than 70 districts Thursday, buttresses Dole’s ongoing efforts to convince voters that a second Clinton term would mean the rebirth of such big government plans as health care reform. By adding up Clinton’s proposals to accuse him of $432 billion in new spending plans, it follows a tack taken by the Clinton campaign, which earlier this year added up plans Dole had supported during his 35-year legislative career to reach a total of $900 billion. The alpine slides were included in the $16.2 million economic stimulus package Clinton offered in 1993. But like the Clinton spot _ which included a Dole plan credited with saving Social Security _ the Dole ad merits a closer look. The $76 million was not earmarked exclusively for midnight basketball; it was part of Clinton’s crime package _ designed to steer juveniles away from gangs, crime and drugs _ that included rehabilitation and treatment programs. Republicans frequently call Clinton’s 1993 tax hike the biggest ever. Although Clinton proposed $266 billion in increases over five years, that was cut to $241 billion before it passed. When adjusted for inflation, the largest U.S. tax increase since World War II came in 1982 under President Reagan. It totalled $260 billion and was written principally by Dole, then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

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Analysis by Kevin Galvin, Associated Press writer.

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