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GOP Web video calls Kerry 'man of mystery'

WASHINGTON -- A new GOP Web video pokes fun at the Democratic presidential nominee-to-be, dubbing him "the international man of mystery" for declining to identify foreign leaders he has claimed support him over President Bush.

"Who are you? Honestly?" a voice asks.

The Republican National Committee was to email its video to 400,000 GOP supporters yesterday. It's a spoof of the "Austin Powers" films, using similar background music, psychedelic colors, and phrases associated with actor Mike Myers's character, a fictional 1960s British spy.

"Allow myself to introduce . . . myself," the voice says as two identical pictures of Kerry playing the guitar appear on screen. Phrases written in bubble letters on screen say: "John Kerry: International Man of Mystery" and "And My Foreign Supporters." The video then shows several clips of the Massachusetts lawmaker, including one in which he says: "I've had conversations with leaders. I've also had friends of mine who met with leaders. And I'm not going to betray the confidences of those leaders."

The Democratic National Committee sent its own Web video to supporters yesterday criticizing Bush for the federal deficit.

"We can balance the budget in the year 2005," a cartoon of Bush says. An announcer responds, "That sounds like a lot of hot air to me" as a red balloon that says "Bush's $5.2 Trillion Deficit" pops on the White House lawn.

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