Two of the most recent ads being aired in New Jersey by Republican Tom Kean Jr. and the NRSC stick to the recipe the Republicans have been using all season against Sen. Robert Menendez: Show the Democratic incumbent as sleazy, corrupt and possibly a criminal.
Both political parties are functioning in the 2006 House races as factories for attack ads, but the National Republican Campaign Committee’s work stands out this year for the sheer volume of assaults on the personal character of Democratic House challengers.
In half a dozen ads, Democrats accuse a number of GOP House incumbents of voting repeatedly to “raid the Social Security Trust Fund.” That line was bunk when Republicans used it against Democratic candidates in the past, and it’s bunk now.
Well over a dozen Democratic ads claim incumbent GOP lawmakers voted against benefits and funding for the nation’s military.
Republican Rep. Ron Lewis of Kentucky attacks his opponent, retired Army Col. Mike Weaver, with an ad saying the Democrat is “not fit for duty in Congress” because of a National Guard pay-for-promotion scandal that goes back 14 years.
In four separate TV spots Republican Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri falsely attributes several unflattering quotes about his opponent to the Kansas City Star.
The Republican National Committee’s latest ad – a 2006 version of President Johnson’s famous 1964 “Daisy” commercial against Barry Goldwater – invokes the threat of a nuclear attack by al Qaeda.
Former President Bill Clinton says California’s Proposition 87 will help “save the planet” and Al Gore says it’s the one thing the state can do to “free us from foreign oil.” Both sides are overselling.
Several ads being aired by Republican House candidates try to frighten both old and young away from supporting their Democratic opponents, who, the Republicans claim, will “cut benefits for seniors” and “raise Social Security taxes” on workers.
The DCCC’s evidence that Florida Republican Clay Shaw took part in a “drug deal” when he voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan is flimsy at best.