Crossroads GPS launched a new TV ad Tuesday that plays off a Virginia tourism slogan and an off-the-cuff debate comment to portray Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine as a tax-happy Democrat.
“They say Virginia’s for lovers,” a male narrator begins. “Tim Kaine loves taxes. As governor, Kaine pushed tax hikes on people making just $17,000 a year. Then Kaine backed Obamacare and its tax on the middle class. ... Now Kaine’s considering a new tax on those who can least afford it.”
The last of these assertions refers to Kaine’s response to a question posed in a debate last month in McLean against Republican George Allen, his fellow former governor and rival for the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D).
When asked by debate moderator David Gregory of “Meet the Press” if everyone in Virginia should pay something in federal income taxes, Kaine said: “I would be open to a proposal that has some minimum tax level for everyone.”
Republicans promptly pounced on the remark. Kaine just as quickly sought to clarify that he had not actually proposed a minimum income tax, but had merely professed his openness to discussing any solution to the country’s fiscal woes.
Crossroads, a conservative nonprofit founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, announced that it will spend $477,000 to air the ad on local broadcast and cable channels.
“Virginia families shouldn’t be stuck with the burden to fulfill Tim Kaine’s love of higher taxes and more government spending,” Nate Hodson, a regional spokesman for Crossroads, said in a written statement.
Kaine’s campaign issued a detailed statement in response to the ad, seeking to refute its claims with links to various independent fact-checkers that had examined the allegations when raised in previous ads.
Kaine’s campaign said that he was merely swapping one tax for another with his plan to raise taxes on people earning $17,000 a year; that the health-care law will help the middle class; and that he has no plan for a new tax.
“Virginia voters know Tim Kaine cut taxes for tens of thousands of residents, eliminated the estate tax, and kept tax burdens lower under his administration than George Allen did when he was governor,” Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said in the statement. “Regurgitating debunked claims doesn’t change that.”