WASHINGTON – Adolf Hitler's (search) image has surfaced again in the White House race. President Bush's campaign contains online video, removed from a liberal group's Web site months ago and disavowed, that features the Nazi dictator.
The Bush Internet video, which was sent electronically to 6 million supporters, intersperses clips of speeches by Democrats John Kerry (search), Al Gore and Howard Dean with the footage of Hitler.
Democrats want the video pulled from the site. Campaign aides said it would remain.
Republicans had criticized the group MoveOn.org (search) in January because it briefly posted an ad contest entry that linked Hitler and Bush. It showed images of Bush with text saying, "God told me to strike at Al Qaeda," before turning to images of Hitler with the words, "And then He instructed me to strike at Saddam." The submission ended with the words, "Sound familiar?" on a black and white screen.
The group later said the entry was in "poor taste" and pulled it from its site.
The 77-second video on the Bush-Cheney re-election site splices footage of Kerry, the presumptive nominee, and his 2004 rival Dean along with 2000 nominee Gore and film director Michael Moore. The spot calls them Kerry's "Coalition of the Wild-eyed." Clips of Hitler's image are seen throughout the spot.
"The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong," said Kerry's campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill (search), who called on the GOP campaign to remove the Web video from its site.
"We're using the video from MoveOn.org to show our supporters the type of vitriolic rhetoric being used by the president's opponents and John Kerry's surrogates," said Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.
The online spot begins with clips of Gore assailing the Bush administration. "How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison," Gore shouts during a public speech.
It then cuts to an image of Hitler, followed Dean, Moore and Rep. Dick Gephardt (search), D-Mo., all bashing Bush. There are more clips of Hitler, Gore and then Kerry, before the screen cuts to the words, "This is not a time for pessimism and rage." Video images of Bush follow.
A disclaimer was added to the beginning of the Web spot on Saturday afternoon to explain that the video contains "remarks made by and images from ads sponsored by Kerry supporters." The disclaimer also accuses Kerry of failing to denounce those who have compared Hitler to Bush.