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Kerry Airs New Ads Touting Experience

Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry (search) is airing a second round of ads on New Hampshire and Iowa television that focus on his military service in Vietnam (search), his opposition to the war and his 18 years in the Senate.

The 60-second commercial, a biographical introduction to the candidate, opens with footage of a younger Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (search) in 1971, when he first gained national attention as a leader in Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Kerry asks in the statement often mentioned with his background. The ad follows with an announcer who says: "Ever since, he's been on the front lines of the fights that matter."

The ad highlights Kerry's support for abortion rights, his 1997 book that "sounded the alarm on terrorism years before 9-11" and his opposition to oil drilling in the Alaska wildlife refuge.

It ends with Kerry promising to work for affordable health care, improvements in education and repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy.

"Right now, too many in politics are afraid to take on the powerful interests, or they're like George Bush and are working hand-in-hand with them," the Massachusetts senator says.

Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan wouldn't disclose the cost of the ad purchase but said the spot will be shown in major media markets in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as on Boston stations that reach southern New Hampshire.

The 60-second commercial will overlap for a few days and then replace the 30-second spots Kerry released last week after he formally announced his candidacy.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri also are on the air with ads in Iowa, which holds its precinct caucuses Jan. 19, and New Hampshire, which tentatively has set its primary for Jan. 27.