May 16, 2012 - 4:28 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

As Republicans continue to duke it out for the nomination, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Timothy M. Kaine is going on the offensive and taking his message to seniors.

Kaine’s campaign today launched an online ad buy and kicked off a two-week tour of the state where he will meet with groups of retirees and seniors in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton Roads and Southside.

Kaine’s campaign said he will hear concerns and discuss his plans to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, contrasting that with GOP front-runner George Allen’s positions.

Allen supports the idea of gradually raising the retirement age for those not yet receiving Social Security benefits and had also advocated future retirees being given the option of health savings accounts.

Kaine campaign spokeswoman Lily Adams said they plan to draw a “clear contrast” with Allen, whom she said “voted to shift Social Security dollars to private accounts and continues to praise plans that would drive up health care costs for seniors and turn Medicare into a voucher program.”

Emily Davis, an Allen campaign spokeswoman, responded by criticizing Kaine’s former position as Democratic National Committee chairman. 

“ObamaCare, which Tim Kaine called a ‘great achievement,’ makes Democrats the only party with a plan to bankrupt Medicare by cutting $500 Billion,” she said. “Now Tim Kaine is resorting to recycling Washington-style scare tactics in an attempt to distract Virginians from his record of supporting every major failed economic policy coming out of Washington that has added $5 trillion to our national debt.”