Utilizes Infamous Legality Quote From Former President

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) –- The Democratic National Committee, dramatically ramping up its attack on President George W. Bush over national security spying issues, in a new ad compares the president’s recent statements on the subject to those made by former President Richard Nixon.

Produced in-house
The Web ad, produced in-house and located on dnc.org, riffs off the controversy regarding eavesdropping of phone calls and e-mail messages by the National Security Agency. The spot features Mr. Bush making various statements about the Constitution, including taking the presidential oath of office from former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and swearing to “defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.”

That is immediately followed by 2004 video footage of the president saying, a "wiretap requires a court order" and "constitutional guarantees are in place.”

Nixon speaks
“Really?” asks the ad, which then shows newspaper headlines, such as one from The New York Times that reads “Bush lets U.S. spy on callers without courts,” before switching to images of Mr. Bush acknowledging the activity and defending it. An image of Mr. Nixon then appears, along with a recording from a 1977 interview he gave, three years after his resignation as president following the Watergate scandal: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” Mr. Nixon says.

Democrats said the ad, which ends with the tagline, “America deserves the truth,” is being e-mailed to activists and is part of a larger effort.

FOIA request
Yesterday, DNC General Counsel Joseph Sandler delivered a Freedom of Information Act request signed by the DNC chairman, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and more than 160,000 Americans that calls for the Justice Department to release documents describing the legal justification for spying on Americans without a court order.

The Republican National Committee did not immediately return several calls for comment.

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