The Republican National Committee has spent 100-thousand dollars to run ads on Iowa television stations now through Monday to counter what the Democratic presidential candidates have been saying about George Bush. Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie says Iowa is an important state to President Bush’s reelection. Bush lost the state narrowly to Al Gore in 2000. Gillespie says the TV ads tout Bush’s policy of “preemptive self-defense” as a means of striking against terrorists. Gillespie says the ads are running in states where the Democrats are having debates — and Iowa will host a Democratic presidential debate on Monday. Gillespie says he “always figured” Bush would start running ads about a year before the 2004 election, and that’s what’s happening. Gillespie says it’s time to start highlighting the differences between Bush and the Democrats who seek to oust him. Gillespie, who visited Davenport yesterday, says “Iowa is clearly a battleground state.” If Bush had gotten just two more votes in each Iowa precinct, Bush would have won Iowa last time around according to Gillespie. The 30-second ad declares that Bush offers “strong and principled leadership” and while the focus of the ad is on the war against terrorism, there is no reference to the war in Iraq. The Democratic candidates like Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt have accused the Bush camp of questioning their patriotism. And Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said “we don’t need a commercial, we need a commander-in-chief.”