Even with the public rebuff from the Iraqi Olympics Soccer Team, Bush and his propaganda ministers keep the ads and the pictures coming. But his possible 'surprise' trip to the Olympics probably now won't happen...
Bush won't stop Olympic ad despite query
Posted: Saturday August 21, 2004 1:24AM; Updated: Saturday August 21, 2004 1:24AM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's re-election campaign will continue to run a television ad that mentions the Olympics, despite questions about whether that violates the bylaws for the games.
U.S. Olympic Committee officials have contacted the campaign about the ad and are awaiting a reply, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said Friday in Athens.
Campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday there are no plans to pull the ad.
"We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics and make a factual point in a political advertisement," Stanzel said.
The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120," an announcer says. "Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes."
Some of the players on the Iraqi Olympic soccer team have complained about the ad appearing as part of a political campaign.
Anything relating to the Olympics belong to the International Olympic Committee in general and to the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USOC in the United States.
An act of Congress, last revised in 1999, grants the USOC exclusive rights to such terms as "Olympic," derivatives such as "Olympiad" and the five interlocking rings. It also specifically says the organization "shall be nonpolitical and may not promote the candidacy of an individual seeking public office."
Bush campaign aides contend that the law gives the USOC exclusive rights only to use the Olympics name to sell goods or services or to promote athletic competition. The campaign avoided using the symbol of five rings in the ad, the aides said.
Bush is watching the competition on television.
"The president has been following the Olympics and pulling for all of our American athletes," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday in Texas, where Bush is staying at his ranch.
"He is keeping a close eye on team USA and watching it when he can," the spokesman said.