Supporters of George Allen say his Republican rival Jamie Radtke has gone too far in her attacks against the former governor in the U.S. Senate primary.
They accuse her of violating the so-called “Eleventh Commandment” made popular by former president Ronald Reagan: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
“We’re all Republicans,’’ Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond) said. ”We shouldn’t be tearing each other down. That’s not going to help us.”
“Fellow Republicans aren’t the enemy,’’ Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) said.
A new radio ad began airing Wednesday
“George Allen is an election disaster waiting to happen and we can’t afford to lose this seat again,’’ the narrator says.
Radtke spokesman Chuck Hansen defends the tactics. “We’ve said all along that George Allen has baggage that (Democrat) Tim Kaine will exploit, and rather than explain it, we thought we’d let Republican voters hear it for themselves,’’ he said.
Last week, Radtke began airing her first radio ads. She said last week that ads would run statewide during morning commutes and on the shows of conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, through the primary. But several people familiar with the buys but not authorized to speak about them say they are running three days at a time, not every day.
Kaine’s aides gleefully tweeted the new ads Wednesday.
Bishop E.W. Jackson and Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) are also vying for the GOP nomination. But Radtke, a tea party activist, has been by far the most outspoken against Allen, trying to label him a big spender who did not challenge the status quo during a previous term in the U.S. Senate.
Allen declined to speak about Radtke in a brief interview Wednesday. “We’re focused on motivating and inspiring people,” he said.
A Washington Post poll released recently showed Allen with 62 percent of the vote among likely GOP primary voters. Marshall was next with 12 percent, and Radtke and Jackson had 5 and 3 percent, respectively.
The winner of the primary will compete in the general election against Kaine, who faces no opposition for the Democratic nomination. The race, to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. James Webb (D), is expected to help determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.