BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen is out with a new ad continuing his attack on Democratic rival Timothy M. Kaine’s support for last year’s debt deal.
The 30-second ad, titled “Devastating,” paints a dramatic picture of looming defense cuts brought on by the failure of a so-called super-committee created as part of the deal to identify alternative deficit reductions.
And though it never mentions Kaine by name, the ad’s implications are clear.
“We work hard in Virginia, pulling our weight, making our way back. But the storm is coming,” a narrator says as dark clouds form over the U.S. Capitol.
“Last year Washington’s super-committee failed,” the narrator ads. “A failure that could force $500 Billion in automatic defense cuts. Devastating job losses. Over 200,000 good-paying Virginia jobs at stake. And a 10 percent reduction in our Armed Forces.”
The ad concludes: “But only one candidate for Senate will fight for Virginia jobs and America’s security.”
The issue was at the forefront of the first general election debate Saturday, in which Allen repeatedly attacked Kaine for supporting the deal. Kaine countered by saying it was “the right thing to do,” and noting that many Republicans also backed the plan, which passed congress with broad bipartisan support.
Kaine has also said that congress should work to find a deal to avoid the deep cuts to defense. House Republicans earlier this year proposed substituting cuts to food stamps and other social programs, but the bill gained no traction in the U.S. Senate.
The 30-second spot is the first issue-specific ad of the campaign for Allen, who has previously released three testimonial ads featuring women praising his accomplishments and character. Kaine has yet to release any TV ads.
In response, Kaine campaign spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine blasted Allen’s record as a senator and criticized his firm anti-tax stance.
“He helped create the crisis and now, instead of joining a bipartisan effort to fix it, he’s cheering on gridlock and opposing compromise,” she said. “Allen’s approach would slash spending on key programs, including defense, that are vital to Virginia’s economy and Virginia workers.
The Kaine campaign also launched a web video criticizing Allen’s past votes to raise the debt ceiling.