WASHINGTON – Republican national Chairman Jim Gilmore accused leading Democrats Monday of hypocrisy and lying about the budget surplus at a time when he says President Bush and the GOP are trying to set a new bipartisan and civil tone in Washington.
Gilmore said Republicans are airing new TV ads to set the record straight after Democrats put out their own ads last week blaming President Bush for the shrinking surplus and accusing Republicans of raiding Medicare funds.
"Democrats have appeared to be tone deaf," Gilmore said, despite Bush's efforts to lower the volume of partisan bickering in Washington. He praised some Democrats for working in a bipartisan fashion.
Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat who voted for the Bush tax cut, wrote a letter published Monday in The Washington Post criticizing Democratic national Chairman Terry McAuliffe. He criticized McAuliffe for being too partisan, constantly criticizing the Bush tax cut and for calling Republican Elizabeth Dole, a carpetbagger for considering a move back to her native North Carolina to run for the Senate.
Gilmore praised the comments by Miller, who has been critical in the past of McAuliffe, a close friend and ally of former President Clinton. McAuliffe's principal rival for the chairmanship, Maynard Jackson, is from Atlanta.
Both parties are intensifying their efforts to fix blame for the rapidly changing budget picture in Washington.
The 30-second Republican ad started Monday in a small buy in several markets including Washington; South Dakota, home state of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; and Missouri, House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt's home state. The ad is titled "A New Tone." It promotes Bush's role in cutting taxes — "sending money back to taxpayers to get our economy growing again."