DES MOINES, Iowa – Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt on Tuesday unveiled two 30-second commercials for Iowa and New Hampshire television that focus on his middle-class background and 27 years in the U.S. House.
Trailing in New Hampshire polls and bunched at the top in Iowa surveys, Gephardt chose to go on the air with ads that tout his experience while sounding campaign themes of economic revival and health care for all Americans.
One ad opens with a grainy black-and-white image of Gephardt in 1993 and discusses his success in leading the effort to get former President Clinton's economic plan approved by Congress.
"We took the political heat, but we did what was right," Gephardt says in the ad. "Now we have to get rid of the Bush tax cuts to create new jobs, and guarantee health care for all."
The second ad, called "Struggled," shows the Missouri congressman sitting among a diverse crowd on what appears to be someone's front porch as he talks about the sacrifices his working parents made to send him to college.
"I want to stop George Bush and fight for America's middle class. President Bush and I see things very differently," Gephardt says in the ad.
"My mother was a secretary and my dad delivered milk door to door," Gephardt says. "It's people like my folks that made America great."
Gephardt won Iowa's precinct caucuses in 1988 but failed to capture his party's presidential nomination.