Two new TV ads in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race hit the airwaves Tuesday, one portraying Republican George Allen as a big spender, the other painting Democrat Tim Kaine as a supporter of huge defense cuts.
The two former governors are neck and neck in a race that could help determine the balance of power in the chamber.
Majority PAC, a group aiming to preserve Democrats’ majority in the Senate, is behind an anti-Allen ad titled “Big Spender.” It is the group’s third ad in the state tied to the 2012 election cycle.
It focuses on what it describes as Allen’s “reckless” spending during his earlier term in the Senate on a string of obscure earmarks.
“Allen voted for $121 billion in earmarks,” it says. “Earmarks for imported fire ants; Alaskan berry research; and DNA study of bears in Montana. No wonder Allen turned America’s largest budget surplus into a massive federal deficit.”
Allen’s campaign, meanwhile, has launched an ad called “Devastating.” It refers to the massive defense cuts that will take effect if Congress is unable to strike a bipartisan agreement this year.
“A storm is coming. Last year Washington’s Super Committee failed,” Allen’s ad says. “A failure that could force $500 billion in automatic defense cuts. Devastating job losses. Over 200,000 good-paying Virginia jobs at stake. And a 10 percent reduction in our Armed Forces. But only one candidate for Senate will fight for Virginia jobs and America’s security. ”
Kaine’s campaign issued a response to the Allen campaign’s ad.
“Let's be clear how we got here. As a U.S. senator, George Allen took a record budget surplus and turned it into a massive deficit, voted for trillions in new spending, and voted four times to raise the debt ceiling without cutting a dime in spending,” said Brandi Hoffine, communications director for Kaine. “He helped create the crisis and now, instead of joining a bipartisan effort to fix it, he's cheering on gridlock and opposing compromise. Just this past weekend, George Allen rejected a deal of $10 in cuts to a dollar in new revenue — a position so extreme that even leaders in his own party refuse to support his stance. Allen’s approach would slash spending on key programs, including defense, that are vital to Virginia’s economy and Virginia workers.”
Allen’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the Majority PAC ad.