Former Virginia Gov. George Allen, now running for the U.S. Senate, said in an interview Thursday that fiscal-minded voters and tea party activists won't support his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, in their expected showdown next year — despite Mr. Kaine's claims in a debate between the two Wednesday.
Mr. Kaine, also a former governor, has been "an advocate for every significant issue of President Obama and his agenda. He's for this massive stimulus spending which he says is going to jump-start this economy but which only left us deeper in debt and without the jobs that were promised," Mr. Allen told The Washington Times-affiliated "America's Morning News" radio show.
Mr. Kaine reached out directly to tea party supporters during the debate in Richmond, saying he has a better record on spending than Mr. Allen, who also served in the Senate from 2001 to 2007.
Mr. Allen questioned his opponent's sincerity.
"I think that was more for fun than for reality," Mr. Allen said Thursday.
Both Mr. Allen and Mr. Kaine are jockeying for support from the state's tea party groups, which have been critical of both candidates.
The candidates are vying to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, in what is likely to be one of the most tightly contested races of 2012.
Mr. Allen acknowledged that Republicans under former President George W. Bush had contributed to the nation's fiscal woes.
"Spending was bad previously, there's no doubt about it," Mr. Allen said, but it's gotten much worse under President Obama and the Democrats, he said.
"Trillion-dollar deficit spending has now become the norm," he said. "If you look at the chart of where the deficit spending was — and we shouldn't have deficit spending — but it was under $200 billion. And now it's $1.3 trillion, over a trillion dollars, year after year after year."
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