Chambliss on Cleland Ad: ‘Truthful in Every Way’
This went somewhat under the radar, but as Georgia GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss prepares for next month’s runoff election against Democratic challenger Jim Martin, he claims no regrets about a controversial ad that helped put him in the seat six years ago.
You know the one: It used images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to suggest that his opponent at the time, Sen. Max Cleland (D), was soft on terrorism because he hadn’t rubber-stamped several of President George W. Bush’s homeland security wishes.
Nevermind that Cleland was a Vietnam vet who’d lost three limbs in the war, while Chambliss steered clear of the conflict via five school deferments — the challenger decided to make the contest one of patriotic duty.
From the ad:
As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the courage to lead. He says he supports President Bush at every opportunity. But that’s not the truth. Since July, Max Cleland has voted against the president’s vital homeland security efforts 11 times. Max Cleland says he has the courage to lead, but the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading.
In an interview with MS-NBC last week, Chambliss called the ad “truthful in every way.”
“Max Cleland was trying to join himself at the hip with George Bush at that point in time — ran ad after ad showing the two of them together, and saying that he was supporting George Bush,” Chambliss said. “He couldn’t dispute it because he knew that it was true.”
Aside from the well-discussed inanity of equating a war hero with the most notorious terrorists of the day, it’s sure strange to think that there was ever a time when ties to Bush could be beneficial.