As with other anti-drug efforts, this one reaches out to both parents and children, but the White House is calling this the biggest-ever federally-funded campaign. The cost will be $195 million over five years, CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller reports.
"These ads were designed to knock America up-side the head and get America's attention and empower all of you," the president told an audience of mostly children, many of them in Boy Scout and Girl Scout uniforms.
He recalled his own brother, Roger, battling a cocaine addiction. "I asked myself, 'What kind of fool am I that I didn't know what was going on?'Â…There's somebody like my brother back at your school who's a good kid, just a little lost," Mr. Clinton said.
Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who heads Mr. Clinton's drug-control policy office, called the unprecedented federal campaign "an effort to talk to a generation that started to get the wrong message." In a 1997 national survey, half of high school seniors and nearly one-third of eighth-graders reported using illegal drugs at least once.
Beginning Thursday, 75 major newspapers and the four major TV networks will feature provocative anti-drug ads produced free by some of the top ad agencies.
One of the ads is a spin-off of the fried egg ad popularized during the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's 11-year campaign, with its Reagan-era slogan "Just Say No." The updated version, meant to illustrate the effects of heroin use, shows a Winona Ryder look-alike destroy an egg and her whole kitchen with a frying pan.
Thursday's unveiling marked a moment of peace in election-year tussling between Mr. Clinton and Republican leaders on everything from drugs to foreign policy.
"I wanted to come here today to stand with the presidentÂ…We're all trying to reach out to every young American and say, 'Don't do it',"' said Gingrich, R-Ga.
Congressional Republicans are committed to financing the campaign for its full five-year run, Gingrich said.
From Atlanta, the president will head further south to Daytona Beach for a look at the fire-devastated areas of central Florida. For weeks now, fire crews from all over Florida, and from other parts of the nation as well, have worked night and day to contain the wildfires which have driven thousands from their homes.
The president's visit will give him a chance to meet some of the fire victims, as well as the firefighters who have been on the front lines.
President Clinton originally scheduled his trip for the same reason as most of his forays out of Washington - to raise money for the Democrats.
Mr. Clinton is expected to raise more than $1 million in Miami with a Thursday night fundraiser at the home of movie star Sylvester Stallone. President Clinton is expected to contiue pushing campaign issues throughout the summer as Democrats gear up for November elections.
On Wednesday, Mr. Clinton took steps to prepare for a year-end report on race relations by participated in a panel discussion on race.
The president suggested that closing the income gap between races would help ease tensions.
"We need strategies to identify the people that aren't winning and determine the winners," Mr. Clinton said.
The president said the use of affirmative action programs are still needed to achieve diversity. He also focused on American Indians, saying they have been mistreated by the government and should be helped.