One week after the Bush campaign was criticized for using images from the World Trade Center attacks in its ad campaign, one of the new ads drew controversy for using a dark-skinned young man as a backdrop to discuss the threat of terrorism. An Arab-American leader called on the Bush campaign to change the spot.
"It undercuts the very thing the president committed himself to after 9/11," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. "It tries to create an identity between terrorists and that face. It can only be called a negative stereotype, it can only be called regrettable."
The Bush campaign, which has reached out to Arab-American voters in battleground states such as Michigan and Ohio, denied the ad was insensitive or racist. The ads are scheduled to air in both states.
But an Institute poll to be released Friday shows that Bush's approval ratings have fallen to nearly 20 percent among Arab-American voters.