WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton in a full-page ad in Friday's New York Times, accusing her of attacking Iraq war commander Gen. David Petraeus' character.
The ad paid for by the Giuliani's campaign attempts to link Clinton to another ad, paid for by MoveOn.org, a liberal anti-war group, that ran in the Times on Monday. The MoveOn ad accused Petraeus of "cooking the books" on the Iraq war and played off his name, asking, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
Responding to Giuliani's criticism, Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said Giuliani "supports George Bush's Iraq policy and believes it is working.
"Senator Clinton knows it isn't and will keep up her efforts to end the war," Singer said. "She believes the best way to honor our heroes in Iraq is to bring them home."
Meanwhile, MoveOn's political action committee will begin airing a new ad on television Monday that accuses Bush of a "betrayal of trust." The ad will run from Monday to Friday in Washington on cable and nationally on CNN. The total ad buy is $60,000.
The MoveOn TV ad argues that, despite plans to withdraw about 30,000 troops added to the U.S. military presence in Iraq earlier this year, Bush remains mired in the war.
"Now he's making a big deal about, you guessed it, pulling out 30,000 troops," the ad states. "So next year, there will still be 130,000 troops stuck in Iraq. George Bush. A betrayal of trust."
Giuliani's ad in the Times quotes the GOP candidate as saying, "These times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom."
The Giuliani accuses Clinton, a New York senator, of participating in a "character attack" against Petraeus, citing her comments during a congressional hearing that the general's progress report on Iraq required a "willing suspension of disbelief."
Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker told Congress that while Iraq remains mostly dysfunctional, violence has decreased since the influx of 30,000 additional troops earlier this year.
A conservative group, Freedom's Watch, which supports President Bush's Iraq war strategy, also plans a print ad in the Times and has demanded the same $65,000 rate that the liberal group paid for its full-page ad. Giuliani is getting the same rate.