When a president comes to town to raise money for a candidate in a tough race, it’s usually the candidate who boasts of the commander-in-chief’s support in the form of a positive television ad. But today, Rep. Roy Blunt is trying to use President Obama’s fundraiser for his Senate rival Robin Carnahan against her, putting a new ad on television starring Obama and Carnahan and claiming she would be a “rubber stamp” for the Obama agenda.
Blunt’s 30-second television ad up today includes video footage from Obama’s event for Carhanan (D-MO) earlier this month. During the fundraiser, Obama told Missouri Democrats that he needed Carnahan in Washington to be “another vote” for his agenda. In many other races, Democrats have used the glowing Obama remarks in their own television ads to showcase that they’d be a partner to the president.
But given Obama’s declining approval ratings and that Missouri is one of the few swing states that he did not win in 2008, Blunt’s turned tradition on its head.
Blunt (R-MO) and Carnahan are running for the Senate seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond. The TPM Poll Average of this race is Blunt 47.6% to Carnahan 43.5%.
Blunt’s campaign manager said in a fundraising email sending the ad to supporters:
Missourians have a clear choice in this election. They can give Barack Obama “another vote” for his agenda of deficit spending, government control of health care, a national energy tax, more job-killing regulation and other Washington liberal goals. Or they can elect a United States Senator who will fight for Missouri jobs and families by supporting Roy Blunt.
With Barack Obama raising a half million dollars for Robin Carnahan, we need your help and resources now more than ever.
It’s ironic that Blunt, a former member of House Republican leadership when the GOP held power, is using the “rubber stamp” term against Carnahan. It’s a label that was leveled at him many times during the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today put Blunt on its “Crooked Candidates” list. The Carnahan campaign made sure to forward that release to reporters. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a response to Blunt’s Obama ad:
It is only July, and Congressman Roy Blunt is already starting negative attacks to distract from his 14-years of being in Washington and fighting for special interests. It should not surprise anyone that Congressman Roy Blunt is adopting the Republican establishment playbook trying to nationalize the election - we saw similar advertisements in another race earlier this year where a Republican Congressional candidate lost by nationalizing his message and focusing on national leaders rather than on the issues important to his district. Unfortunately for Congressman Roy Blunt, the Missouri Senate race will be a choice between Robin Carnahan standing-up for Missouri’s middle class and Congressman Roy Blunt standing-up for Washington’s special interests.