Forbes Campaign Cries Foul Over Bush Ad

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

( - The national campaign chairman for Republican presidential hopeful Steve Forbes is calling on the Bush campaign to either fix its latest campaign ad or pull it off the air.

The ad, entitled "Successful Leader," states that Bush reduced the growth of government spending in Texas to the lowest in 40 years. The Forbes campaign contends that several Texas newspapers have independently analyzed Governor Bush's spending record and concluded that Texas state spending has risen 35 percent or more since Bush took office.

By contrast, Federal Government spending under the Clinton-Gore administration has increased 21 percent since 1992, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), according to a statement from Forbes's campaign office.

Ken Blackwell, Forbes campaign chairman said in Washington Tuesday, "The Governor's 'Successful Leader' ad is a misrepresentation of his state spending record, and that is according to independent analysis. The truth is that Governor Bush has not been a successful leader in restraining spending. The ad claims that Bush's spending record is somehow exemplary."

Blackwell went on to say that Bush's spending record is "more of a Clintonian record than conservative. In fact, George Bush makes Bill Clinton look like a fiscal conservative."

"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates spending under the Clinton-Gore administration has risen by 21 percent during their tenure," according to Blackwell. "Governor Bush has increased state spending significantly more than Bill Clinton and Al Gore. This is nothing to brag about. The ad is clearly misleading and the Bush campaign should fix it or pull it off the air altogether."

The Bush campaign had no comment on Blackwell's request when contacted by