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Kaine launches two TV ads on bipartisanship and compromise; debate is tomorrow

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine is out with two new TV ads today, both of which focus on compromise and working across the aisle.

One, “Middle Ground,” reiterates Kaine’s proposal that Congress allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on those making $500,000 or more. As Kaine says in the ad, President Barack Obama has called for letting the cuts expire on those making more than $250,000 a year. Rival Republican candidate George Allen favors keeping the Bush tax cuts on all income levels.

In the ad, Kaine calls his $500,000 proposal the “middle ground” and says it would help reduce the deficit and avoid the defense cuts looming through the bipartisan sequestration deal.

The other new ad, “Partner,” plays up Kaine’s work with Republican President George Bush and Obama.

“I don’t agree with any president all the time, but I know that when our nation succeeds Virginia succeeds,” Kaine says in the ad.

He says he worked with Bush on the Dulles rail project and with Obama to keep a Navy aircraft carrier based in Norfolk.

“Washington needs more partners and fewer partisans,” Kaine says in the ad.

You can see the Middle Ground ad here, and the Partner ad here.

Allen’s campaign responded by saying Kaine wasn’t as helpful as he claims in protecting military jobs in the Hampton Roads area; they cited a mid-2010 interview in which Kaine was asked about the potential job losses from a plan to move the Joint Forces Command from Norfolk. Kaine said to cut the deficit, “everything has to be on the table.”

Kaine’s own campaign refers to a meeting after Obama’s inauguration in 2009; Kaine and Sen. Jim Webb met with Obama to urge against moving the aircraft carrier to Mayport Naval Air Station in Florida.

On Kaine’s $500,000 tax “compromise” proposal, the Allen campaign said Kaine had proposed millions of dollars in tax increases as governor, and that tax increases ” have long been Tim Kaine’s only ‘solution’ to addressing fiscal challenges.”

The two new ads are part of a flurry of new advertising from Kaine in recent days; he launched two new ones last week as well. Allen also launched a new ad last week.

Allen’s campaign says they have bought almost $2 million in TV ad time for September and reserved $3 million for October.

Kaine’s campaign has already paid for $4.5 million in TV ad time through the election. Both campaigns say they’re prepared to kick in more if needed.

But spending by both actual campaigns doesn’t approach the level of spending on ads from third-party groups, on behalf of both men.

Kaine has been the focus of ads from American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, both conservative super PAC groups, whose ads often include misleading claims, according to Politifact.

Today Allen’s campaign protested a new ad on Kaine’s behalf that they say is also misleading. The ad, from Democratic super PAC Majority PAC, includes a clip of Allen calling government programs “waste” and says he considers safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare to be wasteful.

The Allen campaign says the ad uses an edited clip of an Allen interview on Fox News and that he was responding to a question about parties at the U.S. Postal Service. In the interview, Allen talked about general wasteful spending in government.

Kaine’s newest ads come one day before Kaine and Allen will face off in their next debate, scheduled for Thursday morning in Tysons Corner and sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.

That debate (also sponsored by NBC 4) will be moderated by David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press.

Tickets are required, but the debate will be broadcast live from noon to 1 Thursday afternoon on NBC 4, and then rebroadcast this coming Sunday at noon.