TV Ad Urges Bush to Pull Troops From Iraq

By Monisha Bansal | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - The liberal political action committee will debut a television ad Tuesday night calling for President Bush to bring troops home from Iraq, timing their broadcast with the president's nationally televised speech updating Americans on the war.

"The U.S. occupation is fueling an ever-stronger insurgency. We need a real plan with a real timetable for exit so there's real accountability for our leaders," said Eli Pariser, the executive director of the MoveOn PAC. The group was one of the most aggressive 527 organizations during the last presidential campaign and is among the most critical of Bush administration policies. is joining with Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine and the current national director of Win Without War, as well as Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, in launching what it calls its biggest ad campaign on Iraq since the war started.

The $500,000 ad buy involves television spots in select congressional districts across the country and a full page ad in the New York Times. hopes to tap into what it claims is growing public opposition to the war in Iraq. The latest CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll, released Tuesday, showed that 53 percent of Americans think the U.S. made a mistake in invading Iraq.

"Let's face it, with the steady decline of support at home and the steady escalation of the insurgency in Iraq, the president's disastrous Iraq policy is in its last throes," said Andrews.

The TV ad centers on comments made by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who is one of the Republicans in Congress who has criticized the administration's handling of the war and the detention of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. In the ad, Hagel is quoted as saying, "The White House is completely disconnected from reality ... it's like they're just making it up as they go along."

But Hagel is angry about the use of his comments in the ad. "This ad is dishonest. I have never supported immediate removal of American troops from Iraq. I have said that to withdraw from Iraq now would have catastrophic consequences that would ripple across a generation of Americans, Iraqis, and the entire Middle East," Hagel stated Tuesday.

"I have differences with the administration over the execution of our war policy. As a United States senator, I have a responsibility to ask tough questions, put forth alternatives and suggestions and do all I can to ensure that our policy is worthy of the sacrifices being made by our service men and women," Hagel added.

Even before the ad was scheduled to air, the Republican National Committee (RNC) fired back. Danny Diaz, spokesman for the RNC, told Cybercast News Service that the liberal group's ad was "fundamentally flawed," and reflected the defeatist stance of the Democratic Party.

"MoveOn's message of moderation and restraint is not only out of touch with the majority of Americans, but with many Democrats outside of Washington, who are dismayed that their party's agenda is controlled by the liberal elites like George Soros and Michael Moore," said Tracey Schmitt, the RNC's press secretary.

E-mail a news tip to Monisha Bansal.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.