President Bush's campaign fired its opening shot Thursday against Democratic front-runner John Kerry (search) — an e-mail attack video that paints him as an "unprincipled" toady to special interests.
The video — sent to 6 million Bush fans and posted on Bush's campaign Web site —- shows Kerry's name being typed into an Internet search engine and goes to what looks like Kerry's own campaign Web site.
Kerry is heard thundering against "special interests," but then the video shows links to news reports of how Kerry raised $640,000 in campaign cash from lobbyists, more than any other U.S. senator.
"Oooh, for what?" asks the female narrator and the video switches to an Associated Press story on Kerry supporting nominations of donors plus criticism from watchdog groups.
Team Bush has been quietly organizing on the Internet and plans to use it as a major campaign tool — its 6 million e-mail addresses are 10 times what supposed 'Net master Howard Dean has.
The Bush campaign said it's striking back for Kerry's attacks on the president, claiming he has aired 15 anti-Bush ads 9,712 times at a cost of $4.9 million.
The Web video can be sent out virtually cost-free — a big bargain compared to TV ads.