The latest television ad for Republican George Allen’s Senate campaign features the mother of a fallen U.S. Marine recalling how Allen reached out to her after her son was killed in action in Iraq in 2005.
In the ad, Rhonda Winfield recalls a handwritten letter she received from Allen, then a U.S. senator, after the death of her son, Jason Redifer. Winfield later gave Allen her son’s dog tags, which Allen kept on his dresser. Allen often has spoken of how Winfield’s gesture moved him. During his unsuccessful 2006 re-election campaign, Allen told a Labor Day audience in Buena Vista what the gesture meant to him.
“For you and your son, our strategy in this war against terror organizations is not cut and run, not to surrender, but our strategy needs to be we win, they lose,” Allen said at the time.
“George Allen cared enough to reach out as father and husband to a grieving mother, committed to carrying on my son’s legacy with leadership and strength.” Winfield said. “I saw in George Allen a public servant whose leadership is not just for what others see but who he is person to person.”
While Allen’s campaign is promoting a positive ad today, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has released a spot that hits him on Social Security. The ad accuses Allen of wanting to privatize Social Security, citing Allen’s vote for 2006 Senate amendment to divert annual Social Security surpluses into a reserve fund that would have been used to set up private accounts. Allen has said that he supports giving seniors “additional options for their retirement security.”
“If George Allen wants to risk his own money on Wall Street, that’s fine,” a man named Edwin Williams says in the ad. “But I don’t want him risking mine.”
Allen’s campaign said Democratic allied of Senate candidate Tim Kaine are using scare tactics.
“Tim Kaine’s allies are once again pulling out their tired and failed scare tactics from their Washington playbook,” Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis said. “While Washington’s debt-driven spending sprees and job-destroying policies further diminish the underpinnings of Social Security and Medicare, George Allen has made it a priority to keep our promises to our seniors and work across party lines to find solutions to strengthen these programs. As governor, George Allen removed the Virginia tax on Social Security and believes that same leadership is needed in Washington to preserve Social Security and Medicare for future generations.”
– Michael Sluss