Porno Politics? Bush Supporter Offers Gennifer Flowers Chat Line
Washington Post: Dallas Morning News
The Republican operative who brought you the Willie Horton ad is back, and this time his subject is Gennifer Flowers.
Floyd Brown, who heads the Presidential Victory Committee, an independent group promoting President Bush's re-election, plans to air attack ads next week about Flowers' allegation that she had a 12-year affair with Gov. Bill Clinton.
The ad, to air in New York during the Democratic convention, urges viewers to "Call . . . to hear Flowers' tapes of their intimate conversations - and more. Did Clinton tell the real truth about smoking marijuana? Did he come clean about how he avoided the draft? Learn the truth about Bill Clinton and his past . . . Because Bill Clinton can run, but he can't hide."
No callers under 18 are allowed, and the ad warns of "explicit language."
The TV spots will show a phone number that costs $4.99 per call. Proceeds will be used to air more ads.
Bush campaign spokeswoman Torie Clarke said yesterday, "We have put as much distance between ourselves and Floyd Brown as legally and otherwise possible. . . . We do not condone it in any way. We are not interested in the sleazy stuff at all."
But Frank Greer, media consultant for Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign, said that "this is exactly the kind of sleazy, negative politics that people in America are sick and tired of. It is the responsibility of the White House to have this kind of trash taken off the air."
Democratic strategist Bill King called it "porno politics," adding: "Only Republican people who need more hormones are going to be calling in."
Clinton, while acknowledging his marriage has had troubled periods, has repeatedly denied Flowers' allegations.
But experts say that negative advertising will be especially tricky this time because in a three-way race, both the attacker and the target may get hurt while the third candidate benefits.
Bush's 1988 campaign disavowed the Horton ad but was seen as benefiting from its racial overtones. The ad pictured Horton, a black convict who raped a white woman while on a furlough program under then-Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee.
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