Timothy M. Kaine is up with his first ad of the U.S. Senate campaign, one that features the former Democratic governor making a positive, direct appeal to voters.
The tone of the commercial marks a sharp break from the deluge of negative spots that third-party groups have aired for weeks on behalf of both Kaine and his Republican opponent, former senator and governor George Allen. One day alone last week, conservative groups launched three ads blasting Kaine. The next day, two liberal groups hit the airwaves with new ads attacking Allen.
With soft music playing in the background, Kaine touts his record as Virginia governor, describing an era of bipartisanship and fiscal responsibility, friendliness to business and commitment to education. He never mentions Allen.
“During the worst recession in decades, I worked with both parties to cut Virginia’s budget by $5 billion,” Kaine begins. “I cut my own pay to lead by example. We were fiscally responsible while advancing our most important priorities, like education. While I was governor, Virginia was named the best state for business and the best state to raise a child.”
Allen’s campaign dismissed the spot as an “Extreme Makeover TV ad.”
“Tim Kaine isn’t telling Virginians that his budget was called a ‘shoddy little trick’ that used one-time gimmicks,” Allen campaign spokeswoman Emily Davis said in a written statement. “He isn’t telling Virginians he has admitted making ‘significant cuts’ to higher education leading to 30 percent tuition increases. And Tim Kaine isn’t telling Virginians that over 100,000 jobs were lost under his watch as he tried to raise taxes on Virginians making as little as $17,000 a year. Virginians can’t afford for Tim Kaine to take his not ‘particularly successful’ Governor record to Washington.”