Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen are doing a little messaging ahead of tonight’s debate in Richmond, rolling out new television ads that underscore themes of their U.S. Senate campaigns.
Kaine’s spot promotes his partnership with the Democrat he hopes to join in Washington, U.S. Mark Warner. Filmed in front of the state Capitol in Richmond, the 30-second spot shows the former governors talking about the “great team” they formed in Richmond and hope to reassemble in the Senate.
“I’m proud to have Mark’s strong support,” Kaine said in a statement released by his campaign. “He knows we need more senators who have a proven track record of reaching across the aisle, listening, finding compromise and getting results. The lessons I learned working with Mark when I was Lieutenant Governor helped me immeasurably as I led Virginia through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Just as we’ve been partners in the past to make sure Virginia leads the nation in so many ways, we will be great partners in the Senate as we find common sense solutions to fix our budget and create jobs.”
Warner, who routinely boasts the highest approval ratings of any statewide elected official, said Kaine “is exactly the kind of problem solver we need in the U.S. Senate.”
“Virginia made great strides under his leadership during the worst national recession in 70 years, winning accolades like Best State for Business, Best Managed State, and best state to raise a child. I couldn’t be more proud to support Tim’s campaign and look forward to having his bipartisan approach in Washington to help tackle the challenges we face.”
Allen’s campaign pointed out that Allen cut his pay as governor before Warner and Kaine, and presided over a stronger state economy than Kaine did.
“Before there was Mark Warner or Tim Kaine, there was George Allen who set the example for them as the first Governor to cut his own pay by 10 percent,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis. “George Allen also reduced the size of state government by 9 percent, lowered taxes and helped Virginia create 300,000 jobs. That’s one example Virginians wish Tim Kaine had followed. Instead, he left Virginia with 100,000 jobs lost, closed rest stops, skyrocketing tuition, and a unanimously rejected budget containing tax hikes on people making as little as $17,000 a year.”
Allen’s ad targets defense spending cuts that could occur under last year’s bipartisan deal to raise the federal debt limit. The deal called for a congressional “supercommittee” to come up with a long-term plan to reduce the deficit and for automatic spending cuts to occur if the panel failed, which it did. The spending cuts will begin to take effect in January unless Congress and the White House come up with a deal to avert them.
Allen opposed the deal to increase the debt limit. Kaine supported it. But he also has called for Congress to take steps to avert the defense cuts that are decried in the Allen ad.
“Looming defense cuts are paralyzing job-creators and families worried about an uncertain future as they see Washington playing politics instead of finding solutions. Washington’s failure is making Virginia families wonder if they will have a job to pay the mortgage, put food on the table and send their children to school,” said Allen campaign manager Mike Thomas. “Tim Kaine’s Washington allies refuse to stop these cuts unless there is a tax increase on hard-working Americans. George Allen has a plan for stopping these harmful defense cuts by setting priorities for spending and reductions and raising revenue without raising taxes through productive American energy and pro-job growth economic solutions. George Allen knows it is his job to fight for our jobs.”
Kaine’s campaign said Allen is railing about defense cuts without articulating a realistic plan to reduce the deficit. Kaine wants to allow the George W. Bush-era tax cuts to expire for income greater than $500,000, allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices under Medicare, and end subsidies to big oil companies to put a dent in the deficit and prevent the defense cuts.
“George Allen was willing to let our government default on its obligations rather than join his own party’s leaders in a compromise — a position that led to a downgrade of our nation’s credit rating,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “So, it’s not surprising that the ideas he’s furthering make deep defense and domestic cuts more likely, not less.
“While Tim Kaine has put forward a bipartisan, workable solution to avert this crisis, George Allen is pushing measures, like the 34th vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that would actually add to the deficit and further gridlock our government in yet another partisan battle. The last thing Virginians want is to rehash the past, which is exactly what George Allen has called for, and exactly why Virginia can’t afford to send George Allen back to the Senate. Instead, Virginians want to move forward with a leader like Tim Kaine who has shown throughout his career that he can bring people together to deliver results in tough times.”
– Michael Sluss