Democratic New Hampshire senatorial candidate Paul Hodes has an interesting way of describing himself in a recent TV ad: “You deserve a senator,” he says, “who’s a real fiscal conservative.”
The TPM Poll Average gives Hodes’ Republican opponent Kelly Ayotte a lead of 48.7%-41.0%.
In the ad, Hodes, who is known for being kinda liberal — even attending the progressive Netroots Nation conference back in July — is walking by a hot dog eating contest at a fair, touting his record on spending. He says he voted against the bailouts, wouldn’t take earmarks, and fought Congressional pay raises:
In an email statement to TPM, Hodes campaign Press Secretary Matt House defended the “fiscal conservative” terminology, saying that ” Republican politicians like Kelly Ayotte think they own the phrase fiscal conservative, but in reality they are just fiscally irresponsible.” Here’s the full statement:
It is fiscally conservative to oppose the Wall Street bailout like Paul Hodes did, and to favor returning all of the unspent money to pay down the deficit. It’s fiscally conservative to fight for budget constraints to reign in federal spending. And it’s fiscally conservative to give up earmarks, saving the taxpayers $15 billion.
What’s not fiscally conservative is supporting tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that would add $700 billion to our deficit, without paying for them. Republican politicians like Kelly Ayotte think they own the phrase fiscal conservative, but in reality they are just fiscally irresponsible.
When asked whether there is any concern that describing Hodes as “conservative” could alienate the Democratic base, House said: “No. The people of New Hampshire - including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - deserve a senator who will fight to get our federal deficits under control.”
He added that Hodes “believes we can’t be socially progressive without being fiscally disciplined.”