WHITE HOUSE DISAVOWS THOMAS AD
WASHINGTON — The White House promptly disassociated itself from a new campaign-style television spot for United States Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas that personally attacks three Senate Democratic liberals.The ad produced by two conservative groups, Conservative Victory Committee and Citizens United, questions the ethics of Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Joseph Biden of Delaware, and Alan Cranston of California, invoking memories of Chappaquiddick, plagerism, and the savings and loan scandal. Just hours after the 60-second spot began airing in the Washington area on Fox Television, White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater issued a brief statement Tuesday, saying: "The White House disassociates itself from any advertising campaign related to the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas that personally attacks members of the US Senate. "These personal attacks are reprehensible and have no place in the confirmation process." L. Brent Bozell III, executive director of Conservative Victory Committee, a political action group, laughed when read the statement on the telephone by a reporter. "This is a typical inside the Beltway game," Mr. Bozell said, referring to the highway that encircles that nation's capital and the politics waged inside of it. "We don't answer to the Beltway." He called the new pro-Thomas ad a "statement by conservatives.... If senators go after Thomas like they did after Bork - try to ruin him by character assassination - we'll go after them in their home states." As for the White House, he said, "I would have hoped that they would have been more active" in the pro-Thomas drive. Bozell said, "I think he is in for a fight - and I think he is going to win."