Senate Notebook: On the defensive, and on the attack
Kaine campaign raises issue with Allen attack on Medicare: The Tim Kaine Senate campaign brought attention to a statement released Tuesday in which George Allen’s campaign levels a debunked charge that Kaine supports a $700 billion cut to Medicare in an attempt to distract from their candidate’s praise for plans that would radically overhaul the current Medicare system.
The problem, according to the Kaine campaign, detailed in an Aug. 14 press release, is that the $700 billion in savings the Allen campaign cites are the very same savings in the Ryan budget plan that George Allen has repeatedly praised.
The difference between the Democratic proposal and the Ryan proposal is that the Affordable Care Act reinvests the $700 billion in savings in programs that benefit seniors like free preventive care and helping to close the doughnut hole for prescription drug coverage, while the Republican alternative does not and would spend less on Medicare benefits, pushing the costs onto seniors, according to the Kaine campaign.
Crossroads continues false attacks at Kaine on defense spending: Starting to sense a pattern here? In an ad released Wednesday, the Crossroads GPS super-PAC defended George Allen with charges that distort the facts. Crossroads and the Allen campaign continue to claim that Kaine supports looming defense cuts, a claim the Associated Press has already labeled false.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported a similar George Allen ad “distorts” Kaine’s position and “fosters a false impression that his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, supports potential deep military spending cuts.” After the GOP attempted to make similar claims against Tim Kaine, the Washington Times noted the hypocrisy since numerous Republicans supported the compromise in question, writing that the GOP attack on Tim Kaine “ricochets.”
“Despite numerous fact checks and all evidence to the contrary, Crossroads continues to peddle George Allen’s lies about Tim Kaine and defense cuts,” said Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine. “Tim Kaine believes these sequestration cuts are the wrong cuts and Congress must reach a bipartisan deal to avoid them. He and other leaders, including Bob McDonnell, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, all supported last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling because it was the only viable path to avoid the nation’s first default.
“George Allen, on the other hand, wanted to use the debt ceiling crisis as ‘leverage’ to force even deeper cuts that would have hurt Virginia. And this from someone who helped create the problem by adding more than $3 trillion to the national debt and voting four times to raise the debt ceiling during his previous budget-busting Senate term. At this point it’s clear that George Allen has no plan to reduce the debt he helped create and is more interested in playing politics with Virginia jobs.”
Chamber launches anti-Kaine ad blitz: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday launched a new ad blitz in the Virginia U.S. Senate race opposing former Gov. Tim Kaine’s candidacy, and highlighting his ties to union leaders.
The ad launch comes as part of the Chamber’s voter education and grassroots campaign touted in a press release as underscoring Kaine’s record on “government overreach and its negative impact on Virginia’s economy.”
“Virginia needs more jobs, and the uncertainty created by excessive federal regulations favoring unions is making job creation more difficult,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President and National Political Director Rob Engstrom. “Union bosses know they can count on Tim Kaine to support their agenda, and in today’s economy we can’t afford another vote against America’s job creators in the U.S. Senate.”
In response to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attack ad that disregards Tim Kaine’s steadfast support of Virginia’s Right to Work law, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement:
“Tim Kaine supports Virginia’s right-to-work laws and has consistently pursued policies to improve the business climate in Virginia. During Kaine’s term, Forbes named Virginia the “Best State for Business” all four years and the Commonwealth’s unemployment was well below the national average.
“But, we’re more than happy to compare Governor Kaine’s record of investing in businesses and strengthening Virginia’s economy in the midst of a national recession to George Allen’s record. As a senator, George Allen helped create our fiscal crisis. He voted against raising the minimum wage four times, consistently supported tax cuts for big oil companies and the wealthiest Americans that increased our deficit, and is now praising a plan that would raise taxes on more than half a million middle class Virginia families. It is clear if Virginia sent him back, George Allen would push the same policies that ask the middle class to foot tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, instead of expanding economic opportunity for all Virginians.”