Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has unveiled a new television ad that uses scenes from Ground Zero to subtly challenge Rudy Giuliani’s image as a 9/11 hero.
The ad – which is running in early primary and caucus states New Hampshire and Iowa – shows a rubble-filled street in downtown Manhattan after the terrorist attacks, then cuts to a shot of Clinton standing with a white safety mask covering her face.
The narrator says: “She stood by Ground Zero workers who sacrificed their health after so many sacrificed their lives, and kept standing till the administration took action.”
The ad refers to Clinton’s efforts in Congress to secure additional funding and medical care for Ground Zero workers who have suffered lung and other ailments.
The Ground Zero shot of Clinton is reminiscent of footage of Giuliani on 9/11 with a safety mask over his face as he stands amid dust and soot from the collapsed Trade Center towers, according to the New York Post.
While Giuliani has cultivated a hero’s image for his response to the 9/11 attacks, he has been criticized by some – including many families of victims – over his handling of the tragedy.
The International Association of Fire Fighters in July released a video documenting what it calls the mayor's numerous "failures of leadership" before, during and after the World Trade Center attacks.
In particular, the firefighters complain that Giuliani located the city's disaster response headquarters within a known terrorist target, the Trade Center; failed to provide working radios, which they say directly led to the deaths of 121 firefighters in one of the towers; halted recovery efforts at ground zero once $200 million in gold bullion was retrieved; and failed to provide proper breathing equipment to those working at the site, again leading to more preventable deaths.
Now Hillary – who has made the health of first-responders part of her regular stump speech – has joined the fray.
She appears to be throwing down the gauntlet on Giuliani as the presidential race shapes up more and more as a battle between Hillary and Rudy as their party’s likely nominees. Many observers believe Giuliani is the only Republican candidate who can beat Clinton in the general election.
On Thursday, Giuliani said in an interview with the Post that Clinton is “far left” of her husband on such issues as trade, taxes and spending.
Hillary’s new ad has touched a raw nerve with some families of Sept. 11 victims. Jack Lynch, who lost his firefighter son on 9/11, told the Post: “It’s very inappropriate, regardless of what she’s doing.
“I’m not crazy about anybody using it. I don’t care who they are, they shouldn’t be using 9/11 to promote themselves.”
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