Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine released a new television ad today that sums up an argument he has made on the campaign trail for months — that Republican George Allen champions policies that would lead to a fiscal train wreck.
The 30-second spot called “Risk,” opens with footage of Allen in a Sept. 20 debate saying: “The best indicator of what someone will do in the future is their record in the past.” It then claims that Allen “turned a surplus into a deficit” during his previous term in the Senate, and that the number of unemployed workers nationally increased from 6 million to 7.1 million.
The ad goes on to assert that Allen-backed policies would increase the deficit $1 trillion and jeopardize funding for Medicare, education and defense. The deficit claim is based on Allen’s support for repealing the federal health care overhaul.
The assertion about defense spending is based on remarks Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made in May after the House of Representatives passed legislation to avert defense cuts that would occur next year if Congress fails to agree on a deficit-reduction package. The House bill, which died in the Senate, would have cut social safety net programs instead. Panetta said the House proposal was a recipe for gridlock and would increase the likelihood of a sequester that would include major defense cuts.
Allen voiced opposition to the bipartisan 2011 deal that put the sequestration trigger in place and allowed for an increase in the federal debt limit. Allen has attacked Kaine for supporting the deal, arguing that Democrats are using the prospect defense cuts to gain leverage for tax increases. Kaine has argued that Allen and Republicans are using the defense cuts as leverage to protect tax cuts for the wealthy.
“Virginians face a stark choice in this election between Tim Kaine’s proven record of fiscal responsibility and George Allen’s record of turning a surplus into a massive deficit and paving the way for an economic disaster,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “Unfortunately, George Allen’s current policies are no different. He’s once again pledging to maintain costly tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and big oil companies while slashing education, defense, Medicare and other key priorities, making our businesses, middle class, and national economy weaker, not stronger. ”
Allen’s campaign said the Kaine ad ignores the Democrat’s own record, including his support for Obama administration polocies that have added trillions more to the debt in the last four years.
“Tim Kaine must think that if he skews enough data, somehow Virginians won’t notice that he has championed the run up of over $5 trillion to the national debt, tried to raise taxes on those making as little as $17,000 and lost 100,000 jobs as Governor,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis. “Tim Kaine has proven that his solution to nearly every problem is to raise taxes, which will only create more job losses. After calling the failed Washington sequestration deal the ‘right thing to do,’ Tim Kaine is willing to use our military and over 200,000 Virginia jobs as political bargaining tools for tax increases on job-creators. George Allen’s record proves that he knows his job is to fight for Virginians’ jobs, helping create over 300,000 Virginia jobs as Governor and supporting tax relief that helped grow 7 million American jobs as Senator.”
– Michael Sluss