Crossroads GPS, the sister group of the Karl Rove-affiliated Super PAC American Crossroads, launched a $2.6 million ad buy Tuesday that includes three spots attacking Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.
One ad, titled “Questionable,” notes Mr. Kaine’s support for a deal Congress reached last summer to raise the debt ceiling that has led to the spectre of about half a trillion dollars in defense cuts absent action from Congress. Mr. Kaine has said he thought it was the right move at the time given the dire fiscal situation of the country but that he wants to work to reverse the cuts, which would disproportionately affect military-rich Virginia.
The two others, “Teeth DC” and “Teeth VA,” cite a quote from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, a Democrat, calling a budget proposal from Mr. Kaine during his time as governor “a kick in the teeth,” and charge that Mr. Kaine’s outgoing budget cut millions in funding for public schools. The two are virtually identical, apart from a reference to Northern Virginia in the D.C. ad.
“Crossroads will keep turning up the heat until the wasteful spending, massive tax hikes, and disastrous government health care takeover are stopped,” said Nate Hodson, Crossroads GPS Director of State and Regional Media Relations. “These spots alert citizens to the positions of self-serving politicians standing in the way of economic recovery.”
Ms. Bulova, though, praised Mr. Kaine’s work to expand early childhood education and career and technical education and said she “strongly” supports him in the race. Mr. Kaine is running against fellow former Virginia governor Republican George Allen for the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat.
“I always fight for Fairfax County, and sometimes that means I disagree with the governor no matter who is in office,” she said. “What this ad’s creators are trying to do is take a quote out of context and make it look like I don’t support Tim Kaine or that he has a poor education record. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Mr. Kaine is running against Republican George Allen for the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat.
The ad campaign also targets Shelley Berkley in Nevada and Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, both Democrats.
The Kaine campaign responded not by fact-checking the ads, but attacking Crossroads for launching the week-long campaign on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (they promised fact checks on Wednesday to debunk the “misleading” ads).
In a statement, Mr. Kaine said that the sacrifice of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 “reminds us we’re not Democrats or Republicans first. We’re Americans first.
“Both presidential campaigns rightly suspended negative ads today,” he continued. “It is a sad reflection of the divisiveness of our politics that outside groups like Crossroads GPS cannot set aside false partisan attacks even as our elected officials and citizens of all walks of life, political parties, and religious faiths join together to honor the dead, thank our first responders and service members, and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy as a nation.”