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Kaine takes aim at Manchin 'rifle' ad

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The head of the Democratic Party said Thursday he’s “not wild” about a TV campaign ad by Democratic Senate candidate Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in which he fires a rifle at a key pending Democratic energy bill.

“He’s been a great governor, and I think he’s going to be a fine U.S. senator, but I’m not wild about the ad,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine told reporters at a Washington breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

The 30-second ad shows Manchin loading a rifle and firing a bullet through a paper copy of the Democrats’ so called “cap and trade” bill, which is designed to reduce fossil-fuel use and curb carbon emissions. The legislation, which has stalled in Congress, is unpopular in coal-producing states like West Virginia over fears it would hurt the industry and cost jobs.

But Kaine, a former Virginia governor, said the part of the ad he dislikes the most is Manchin’s promise to repeal the Obama administration’s health care reform law.

“He had two Democratic senators, very good senators, who voted for that bill, and they voted for it because it probably has as much to offer the residents of West Virginia as virtually any state,” Kaine said.

Still, Kaine said he was impressed with the marksmanship of Manchin, who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

“He’s a hell of a shot,” Kaine said.

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