The candidates in Virginia’s high-stakes U.S. Senate race rolled out new television ads today, and both plan to sustain their advertising campaigns all the way to Election Day.
Republican George Allen, who ran an initial round of ads in the summer, is back on the air today with a 30-second spot promoting broad concepts of his economic plan. In the ad, Allen says: “America is at a crossroads. Will we continue to decline, or begin to ascend again?”
“George Allen is optimistic about America’s future because he understands that the greatness of America is in its people and communities,” said Allen campaign manager Mike Thomas. “His vision for a better future is why he’s running for the U.S. Senate with a specific plan to fix Washington and free our economy to create the jobs hard-working Americans need to provide for their families and send their kids to college.”
Kaine’s campaign said the Allen had a chance to address these same issues during his previous term in the Senate. Allen, a former governor, served one term in the Senate before losing his set to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006. Webb is not running for re-election and Allen is trying to get his old seat back.
“George Allen’s ad is a drastic departure from his decades-long record in politics and his re-election campaign proposals,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “George Allen had the opportunity to address these issues the last time he served in the Senate. Instead, Virginians got a fiscal mess and an economic recession that we’re still recovering from.
“We’ll leave it to George Allen to question whether our nation is in decline but Tim Kaine has always believed our best days are ahead and that by working together we can tackle tomorrow’s challenges.That’s what he did as governor when he led Virginia through the worst recession in 70 years by working across the aisle to cut spending and attract new businesses to the Commonwealth, and that’s what he’ll do as senator.”
In Kaine’s new ad, the Democrat brings new meaning to the term “power point” as he contrasts his record as governor with Allen’s record as a governor and senator. Kaine highlights his efforts to cut state spending during a severe economic downturn, including cutting his own pay. He then notes that Allen increased state spending as governor and helped “turn a record surplus into a massive deficit as senator.”
Kaine takes credit for balancing the budget, which is required by the state constitution. Allen did the same when he was governor. The Republican also returned 10 percent of his governor’s salary to the state coffers. Allen’s campaign charged that Kaine cherry-picked information to create a false impression about the candidates’ fiscal records.
“Tim Kaine’s TV career has reached a new low as he peddles a fake ‘fiscal responsibility’ record with the hope that Virginians won’t know a scam when they see it,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis. “The truth is that George Allen cut his pay by 10 percent all four years as Governor, while Tim Kaine waited well into his second year to cut his pay by only 5 percent. Tim Kaine pats himself on the back for following the Virginia Constitution’s requirement of balanced budget while he traveled the country as the Democratic national party chairman, championing policies that led to federal deficits eight times higher than when George Allen left the Senate. George Allen cut the size of the Virginia government by 9 percent while adding 300,000 net new private sector jobs. Tim Kaine made what he called ‘significant cuts’ to higher education and tried to raise taxes by $4 billion, all while Virginia lost 100,000 private sector jobs. Virginians are looking for real leadership based on a proven record of creating jobs, not another Washington political salesman who plays loose with the facts.”
– Michael Sluss