Smokescreen '96?

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: Does Bob Dole care about kids getting addicted to cigarettes? According to a new television ad campaign launched by the Clinton camp on Monday, Dole "opposes an FDA limit on tobacco ads that appeal to children." But the Dole campaign begs to differ: while Dole opposes smoking ads that might encourage kids to smoke, he prefers to let states set their own bans, according to Dole press secretary Nelson Warfield. "This has less to do with what Dole really believes than it does with Dole's character," says TIME's Eric Pooley. "You have to put up with a tremendous amount of inanity in politics, and this incident shows how much better Clinton is at handling these situations than Dole is." Dole set himself up for the new Clinton ad campaign by sternly defending his position on tobacco to the point of comparing it with milk and questioning whether it was addictive on last week's Today show, adds Pooley. "Also, Clinton can afford to estrange the tobacco industry since Democrats receive so much less money from tobacco companies than do the Republicans." In 1994, Republicans received more than $3 million in contributions from the tobacco industry, while the Democrats collected only $500,000. As Dole's campaign funds dwindle, Clinton still has $18 million left to spend before the general election begins, according to a Clinton spokesperson. -->