Tim Kaine will be a rubber stamp for President Obama. George Allen will be a rubber stamp for oil companies.
Or so the charges of the opposing camps for the two U.S. Senate candidates in Virginia would have voters believe.
The campaign for Mr. Allen, a Republican, released a new Web advertisement Monday highlighting President Obama’s decision to deny a permit application for the Keystone XL Pipeline project and interlacing statements from Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, where he declares himself an “unabashed” supporter and friend of the president.
“Chairman Kaine proudly calls himself an ‘unabashed’ supporter of President Obama and on every significant issue of the last three years Mr. Kaine has proven his loyalty, putting President Obama’s agenda first. But what about Virginia?” said Dan Allen, senior adviser to the Allen Campaign. “Virginia families want a senator that will fight for them, not one that will simply serve as a rubberstamp for President Obama and his agenda.”
The Kaine campaign, meanwhile, hit back, pointing to Mr. Allen’s push for the project, which would transfer oil from Canada to to Oklahoma and Texas and run through an environmentally sensitive region in Nebraska, while admitting that there were significant associated environmental risks.
The Kaine camp also points out that while he has been pushing the Obama administration to quickly approve the pipeline, he’s taken a different tack on uranium mining in Virginia, saying he would wait to look over a National Academy of Sciences report on the issue.
“Virginians want a senator who will make decisions based on the facts, not on reflexive partisanship and their personal political prospects,” said Kaine for Virginia communications director Brandi Hoffine. “George Allen had the chance to prove that he’d be an independent voice for the Commonwealth and the nation and instead he’s proven that, if reelected to the U.S. Senate, he’ll continue to be a rubber stamp for oil companies who do not need his help to turn a profit.”
Allen spokesman Bill Riggs countered, however, that the major reasons the former governor supports the pipeline are the thousands of American jobs and the supply of affordable energy it would create.