Alex Castellanos has been characterized as the "charismatic, controversial and confrontational Republican media consultant. Castellanos is the party's ultimate hit man, hired by the Bush-Cheney campaign to put his stamp on the contest." 
It was Castellanos who was credited with the creation of the September 2000 Bush campaign "30 second TV advertisement, which [dealt] with who should pay for prescription drugs for the elderly, [containing] the word 'rats'. ... Alongside images of Vice-President Al Gore, the ad [showed] fragments of the slogan 'Bureaucrats decide'. RATS [which] is flashed for a split second, before the complete word 'bureaucrats' appears." 
Castellanos, a partner in National Media, Inc., according to one biographical sketch (2002), "is one of the Republican Party's new generation of TV-advertising consultants. He has served as media consultant to 6 U.S. presidential campaigns. He has helped elect 9 U.S. senators, 6 governors, and enjoys over two decades of political consulting experience, both in the United States and abroad. Mr. Castellanos has also produced issue advocacy campaigns for several corporations and national associations including: Verizon Communications, American Forest & Paper Association, Federation of American Hospitals, Citizens for Better Medicare, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
"'Fortune' magazine singled out Mr. Castellanos as a 'new style media master,' and National Journal calls National Media 'a different kind of public affairs firm.' Mr. Castellanos brings a wealth of campaign strategy, public opinion research and communications experience to corporate communications and public policy campaigns. 
"Mr. Castellanos, a native of Havana, Cuba, is fluent in Spanish and English. His parents, refugees who fled Castro's Cuba in 1961, came to this country with one suitcase, two children and eleven dollars. A Morehead and National Merit Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Castellanos lectures frequently internationally and in the United States, from Harvard University to the United States Army Communication School. He also appears frequently on CNN's 'Crossfire' and MSNBC's 'Head to Head'." 
- John Egan, "RATS ad: Subliminal conspiracy?," BBC/UK, September 13, 2000.
- Eric Boehlert, "Going negative. He's the father of the modern attack ad, and he's behind the Bush campaign's new wave of anti-Kerry spots. Alex Castellanos is known as vicious, irresponsible -- and effective,", Salon, March 15, 2004.