WASHINGTON – A Massachusetts police officer describes his Democratic senator, John Kerry (search), as a presidential candidate who likes higher taxes in a radio ad that President Bush's re-election campaign began airing nationwide Monday.
"John Kerry has been my senator for 20 years. Now he's running for president. You might want to know him the way some of us in Massachusetts do," says Jay Moccia.
The ad, Bush's second radio commercial, echoes claims that Vice President Dick Cheney (search) made Monday in a speech and Bush has made in television spots and on the campaign trail. Citing Kerry's lengthy voting record, the Republicans have sought to portray the Democratic lawmaker as a tax-raising liberal.
In the 60-second ad, Moccia claims that Kerry's Senate record shows he has voted for higher taxes 350 times, supported taxing senior citizens' Social Security benefits and opposed giving small businesses tax credits to buy health insurance.
Kerry's campaign says he voted to repeal the 1993 income tax increase on Social Security benefits, but the Republicans blocked the measure to reduce taxes for those earning the most money. Further, Kerry's campaign says that he has voted repeatedly to cut taxes for small businesses and that a third of his health care plan would ensure tax cuts for small businesses.
Moccia, again using the Bush campaign's talking points, also claims that Kerry will raise taxes $900 billion in his first 100 days in office.
"The last thing I need is another Kerry tax increase," Moccia says in the ad. "John Kerry likes to raise taxes. It's what he's done before and you know he'll do it again."
Kerry has never proposed raising taxes by that amount. Rather, the figure is based on the Republicans' assumption that he would need to boost taxes that high to pay for his 10-year health care plan.