GOP Deals With Donor Photo Backlash

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GOP Deals With Donor Photo Backlash

Tue May 14,11:34 PM ET

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House fended off criticism Tuesday that Republicans exploited the terrorist attacks by using a White House photo of President Bush (news - web sites) in action on Sept. 11 to attract fresh donations for GOP congressional candidates.

Press secretary Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) said the White House was consulted before the fund-raising solicitation and was not concerned about the use of photos showing "the president doing his job for the American people."

Bush sidestepped a question about the controversy before heading to a black-tie gala Tuesday night that raised a record $30 million for the Republican National Committee (news - web sites).

Likewise he made no reference to the controversy in his speech to RNC donors but did note one promise he made when he came to Washington.

"A year ago, I said I would do my part to try to change the tone in Washington, D.C., to try to get rid of the needless name calling that goes on here," Bush said. "I believe, and I strongly believe, we've made great progress."

The photo, taken by a White House photographer, shows Bush calling Vice President Cheney aboard Air Force One just hours after the suicide hijackers struck New York and Washington.

It was promised in a fund-raising solicitation, first reported by The Associated Press, as part of a three-picture set for donors who gave at least $150 for a fund-raising dinner next month for GOP congressional candidates.

"That the Republican Party sees no problem with this profit-from-pain scheme says a lot about the moral state of the party," said Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (news, bio, voting record), whose Manhattan district included the World Trade Center.

Former Democratic Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites), Bush's opponent in 2000, said the president should not condone such use of a Sept. 11 photo.

"While most pictures are worth a thousand words, a photo that seeks to capitalize on one of the most tragic moments in our nation's history is worth only one disgraceful," said Gore, whose fund-raising was criticized by Bush during the campaign.

The National Republican Congressional Committee and its GOP Senate fund-raising counterpart defended use of the photos.

"The photographs that were used by the Republicans are celebratory, they are historic, they are something we should be proud about, the courage put forth by this president," said Sen. Bill Frist (news, bio, voting record), R-Tenn., who leads the Republican fund-raising effort for Senate candidates.

Fleischer said Bush saw no problem with the photos, which also included a picture of the president at his 2002 State of the Union address and another from his inauguration last year.

"The party committees are free, if they decide, to use pictures of the president doing his job for the American people," Fleischer said.

Bush was attending a black-tie fund-raiser Tuesday evening for another GOP group, the Republican National Committee, that was expected to shatter the single-night record of $26.5 million set in 2000 by former President Clinton (news - web sites) and Gore.

As part of the RNC's gala, Republican "Eagles" those who donate at least $15,000 annually to the RNC were invited to meetings with Cabinet secretaries and other Bush administration officials earlier Tuesday.

The Republican congressional solicitation hailed the pictures as showing "the gritty determination of our new president" and included a letter from Cheney that told prospective donors next month's dinner for congressional candidates carried special meaning.

"It is an opportunity to honor President Bush for his courageous leadership during this historic time and to thank you for making that leadership possible through your steadfast support of President Bush and his agenda," Cheney wrote.

Bush has campaigned aggressively to raise money for GOP candidates, hoping to win back the Senate for Republicans, retain control of the House and lay the groundwork for his own re-election in 2004.

An official White House photographer a government employee took the picture of Bush on Air Force One, Fleischer said. The White House released it to the news media. The other two photos included in the donor package were taken by the Reuters news agency.

The Republican fund-raising committees bought all three photos from the Web-based photo service known as Corbis.com.

Both parties have accused the other of seeking to politically profit from the terrorist attacks.

For instance, Republicans criticized Democratic Rep. Jane Harman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., recently named to a House subcommittee on terrorism and homeland defense, for taking part in a September conference call with members of the New Democrat Network, a pro-high-tech group that raises money for Democratic candidates. The high-tech industry is competing for post-Sept. 11 defense contracts.

Harman has denied that it was a fund-raising call.

-- (nothing is too low @ for. scumbag dumbya), May 14, 2002

Answers

Anyone dumb enough to cough 150K for a picture downloadable almost anywhere is almost as dumb as someone fussing about it. Had 9-11 happened a few years ago the pictures would have been autographed after the caption "I feel your pain". Course the price mighta been a bit more.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 15, 2002.

Just more proof that Dumbya engineered the 911 attack. It was the only way he could make himself look like a hero, since he is too morally bankrupt to earn respect the honest way.

-- (Dumbya@mass.murderer), May 15, 2002.

the president doing his job for the American people

Barf.

More like "Dick, Dick, what tha fuck do I do now? Where can I go to hide?" "The damn threat to the Taliban backfired!!!!"

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 15, 2002.


Spoken like a true welfare hog, slopping at the public trough. Forget Bush and do something with your own life you stupid bitch.

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), May 15, 2002.

I don't know dumbfuck, but I'm not letting you hide in my hole. Your stupidity annoys me.

-- Dickhead Cheney (no room @ for. Dumbya), May 15, 2002.


"Jesus Dickie, what are we gonna do now? When we threatened the Taliban so we get build that pipeline for Unocal, I never figured they would kamikaze the Trade Center! What if the Dems figure out what happened, they'll have our asses on rye toast! Okay, you go down into your secret hole and I'm gonna go hide in that bunker we got at the Strategic Command Center. In the meantime, start working on the coverup. Later Dickster."

-- LOL (Dumbya@runnin.scared), May 15, 2002.


Is Cherri really getting public assistance? Not that it's any of my business of course.

-- (dying@to.know), May 15, 2002.

No.

And the moron doesn't know wha my weight is either... ROFLMAO

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 15, 2002.


"Whuddaya mean I hafta address the nashun tuhnite?!! Yur the one who talked me into threttinun them dam Tallybuns! You do it! Buhsides, I dud'nt knows how ta prunounse all them dam A-rab terroris names!"

-- (hee-haaaw@chuckle.chuckle), May 15, 2002.


Excellent picture quality. Thanks.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 16, 2002.


Afterthought: Maybe you could spin this photo into PROOF that Dubya was "hiding" during the attacks and get some milage there. Remember here the "hiding" thing was a pretty big deal. Hey, you got him!

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), May 16, 2002.

Yep, that's the first thing the chickenshit did was run for the nearest bunker to hide in, trying to save his own ass while the people were left vulnerable. VERY cowardly.

-- (Dumbya is @ stinking. rotten scumbag of the worst kind), May 16, 2002.

How does one deal with this line of reasoning? Carlos, can you give this idiot something to calm him down?

No, stronger than that.

-- Send (mo@money.please), May 16, 2002.


"How does one deal with this line of reasoning? Carlos, can you give this idiot something to calm him down?"

They've already tried that. The problem is, when they give Dumbya more meds he just takes more naps, and sleeps right through his lesson on how to speak coherent english and pronounce words with more than one syllable. They decided that an alert idiot is better than a drowsy idiot, so they quit giving Dumbya his meds. Now he is a dangerous idiot.

-- (Dumbya@beyond.hope), May 16, 2002.


Physician, heal thyself

-- (Luke@lurk.mode), May 16, 2002.


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