The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the campaign commercials of the presidential hopefuls. Candice Berry analyzes the latest effort of Democrat Al Gore.
The Democratic National Committee has released its first ad promoting Al Gore's crime prevention agenda. In this ad, Gore pledges his support for a Victim's Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would provide crime victims the option to seek compensation from their attackers, the right to testify during the sentencing process and ensure that they are notified when perpetrators are released from jail. The ad will air in 17 states, including key battlegrounds like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Al Gore: "Accused criminals have all kinds of rights. But the victims of crimes do not have rights that are always protected and guaranteed. That's why I'm for a constitutional amendment to protect victim's rights. So that for example, if somebody has been a crime victim and the person who committed that crime is about to be released, they ought to be notified. If there's a trial they ought to have a right to speak to the jury. The people who are hurt by crime need to be heard."
Like other DNC ads promoting Al Gore, the crime prevention ad begins with Gore speaking to a seated audience, sketching out the details of his position. Subsequent scenes illustrate Gore's support for a Victims Rights Amendment: A female police officer visits a residential home to bring notice of a perpetrators release, then Gore talks to two street cops as they patrol their beat. The ad ends with Gore again speaking to a seated audience, reinforcing his position that the voice of crime victims has a right to be heard.
This ad attempts to portray Al Gore as a protector of families and communities against repeat criminal offenders. Additionally, the ad works to paint Gore as a president who would aggressively seek crime prevention legislation, a tactic successfully used by Bill Clinton during the 1996 presidential campaign to cast Democrats as tough on crime.