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Keyes Releases 1st TV Ad

The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the campaign commercials of the presidential hopefuls. Francesca Gessner analyzes a new TV spot from Republican Alan Keyes.


The Ad: Life, the first television ad of Alan Keyes' presidential campaign, began running this week in Iowa and New Hampshire. Having nearly doubled fund-raising in the last few months, Keyes can afford for the first time to air TV commercials.

Audio: Childs voice: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Alan Keyes: "We cannot hope to preserve our liberty if we pretend that we simply have the prerogative selfishly to serve ourselves at the expense of those who are not yet born."

Child's voice: "...unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Announcer: "On Election Day, we can make a difference by voting for a moral and just future. Stop the killing. Vote your conscience. Vote Alan Keyes for a better America.

Visual: The ad opens with a child's voice reciting lines from the Declaration of Independence over a visual of the Constitution transposed on an American flag. Next, we hear Keyes' voice over a series of black-and-white photographs of young children and their mothers: a child touching her mothers pregnant stomach, a smiling black mother holding her infant in the air. A quote from Ronald Reagan praising Keyes is written over the photos of the young children: "Alan Keyes is a living, breathing example of how this nation can change, adapt and grow. President Ronald Reagan."

Next, the child's voice returns, continuing to quote from the Declaration of Independence, with the words "life," "liberty" and "happiness" highlighted on the screen over a photo of a baby's face. The ad then cuts to a color, ultrasound image of a 12-week fetus with the word "abortion" in red lettering across the top. The fetus has ears, fingers and discernible facial features. The ad concludes with the announcer saying: "Stop the killing, vote your conscience." The sound of a heartbeat thumps in the background throughout the ad.

Fact Check: No inaccuracies.

The Strategy: Keyes airs his first TV ad in the wake of a series of strong debate performances and a bump up in the Iowa polls: A Los Angeles Times poll released Jan. 18 shows him in third place in Iowa with 10 percent of the vote.

The ad's strong pro-life message reflects Keyes attempt to compete with Gary Bauer and Steve Forbes for social and religious conservatives. Though Keyes, Bauer and Forbes have all tried to make abortion a key issue in the Republican primary, front-runners Bush and McCain have resisted, refusing to pledge to use an abortion litmus test in the selection of a running mate or appointment of Supeme Court judges.

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