Update - Bush Ad Causes Forbes Campaign To Cry Foul

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

1st write-thru; includes comments from Bush campaign

(CNSNews.com) - The national chairman of Republican Presidential candidate Steve Forbes is calling on the Bush campaign to either fix the latest campaign ad or pull it off the air.

The campaign ad is entitled "Successful Leader," states that Bush reduced the growth of state government spending to the lowest in 40 years.

The Forbes campaign contends that several Texas newspapers have independently analyzed Governor Bush's spending record and those newspapers have 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 campaign office.

Bush campaign spokesperson Mindy Tucker reacted to the Forbes campaign criticism, "This misleading attack says more about Steve Forbes than it does Governor Bush. Republican voters will reject this effort to mislead voters and distort the fact just as they did when Forbes relied on the same negative tactics in 1996."

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."

Tucker went on to say, "Governor Bush actually has a record of fiscal responsibility that includes setting clear priorities, increasing funding for public education, passing the two largest tax cuts in Texas history and bringing about a dramatic reduction in the growth of state spending."