WATKINS: Well, let's talk about what is happening right now.
The Bush campaign has rolled out its latest ad. And it may be the most powerful in its arsenal to date. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: In an increasingly dangerous world, even after the first terrorist attack on America, John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America's intelligence operations by $6 billion, cuts so deep they would have weakened America's defenses. And weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATKINS: Wow. Very strong and right on the mark.
The ads begin airing today in 14 states and on national cable. Bush aides say it was produced in the spring, but it was so effective in focus groups that they held it back until now. Good move.
BEGALA: This is -- now, the guy who makes Bush's ads, Mark McKinnon, is a dear friend of mine. We went to college together. I love him.
Mark, you need to switch to decaf, bud.
BEGALA: That's the dumbest ad.
WATKINS: That's a great ad. That's a great ad.
BEGALA: Those are puppies, Joe.
WATKINS: Americans care about being safe.
BEGALA: Ronald Reagan used a bear, a big threatening image, for the Soviet Union. These are puppies. What's next, Garfield the cat, Lassie?
BEGALA: Oh, I'm afraid. These puppies are coming. The puppies are coming.
The "applause" after the end of the video clip was actually laughter.