Dueling TV ads mark busy media day in Senate race

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen each released new TV commercials on Wednesday, and their campaigns, predictably, used the occasions to take swipes at each other.

“George Allen is optimistic about America’s future because he understands that the greatness of America is in its people and communities,” said Allen campaign manager Mike Thomas, talking about the new Allen ad, “Envision.”

The new Kaine ad, “Actions Matter,” is an effort of the Democratic candidate to outline the contrast between the two former governors’ fiscal resumes.

“As governor, I cut five billion in spending, balanced the budget, and cut my own pay,” Kaine tells Virginians in the ad. “George Allen increased spending 45 percent as governor, helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit as a senator, voted four times to raise the debt ceiling, and voted 4 times to raise his own pay. Now that’s a real difference.”

Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis went off-topic a bit in her response on behalf of the Republican to the ad, criticizing Kaine for serving as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee in his last year of office as governor before repeating an oft-used Allen campaign line about Kaine trying to raise taxes more than $4 billion in his term as governor that fact-checkers have judged at best half-true.

“Virginians are looking for real leadership based on a proven record of creating jobs, not another Washington political salesman who plays loose with the facts,” Davis said.

“Envision” details Allen’s vision for a better future through key solutions found in his Blueprint for America’s Comeback, in which Allen calls for a more fair, simple and competitive tax code and reasonable regulations that empower America’s job creators to succeed.

“While some will say it’s impossible to fix Washington, George Allen has heard that before and worked across party lines to achieve historic reforms for Virginia,” Thomas said. “George Allen will be Virginia’s voice in Washington with the proven leadership and proven results needed to get our country back on track.”

Kaine campaign spokesperson Brandi Hoffine said the ad is “a drastic departure from (Allen’s) decades-long record in politics and his re-election campaign proposals.

“George Allen had the opportunity to address these issues the last time he served in the Senate. Instead, Virginians got a fiscal mess and an economic recession that we’re still recovering from,” Hoffine said. “We’ll leave it to George Allen to question whether our nation is in decline, but Tim Kaine has always believed our best days are ahead and that by working together we can tackle tomorrow’s challenges. That’s what he did as governor when he led Virginia through the worst recession in 70 years by working across the aisle to cut spending and attract new businesses to the Commonwealth, and that’s what he’ll do as senator.”

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