Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Kaine closes out campaign with two new ads
As Election Day nears, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine is closing out the campaign with two new positive ads that don’t mention rival George Allen but instead focus on Kaine’s own campaign themes.
One shows Kaine speaking the Pledge of Allegiance with schoolkids in a classroom, then decrying Washington partisanship.
“We teach our children patriotism and unity, but Washington sets the wrong example by not working together,” Kaine says in the ad. “Until we can say ‘indivisible’ and really act that way, we’ll never get our fiscal house in order and invest in our future. … Washington needs to start living the values that we teach our own children.”
In the other ad, shot in front of his house in Richmond, Kaine mentions his time as a missionary in Honduras and its impact on his time as Richmond mayor and Virginia governor during a recession.
“As a missionary in Honduras I learned how faith can bring people together,” Kaine says in the ad. “That experience helped me guide Richmond as mayor and then Virginia as governor through the worst recession in decades.”
In response, Allen’s campaign said Kaine’s message about bipartisanship is undercut by the fact that he took the partisan job of Democratic National Committee chairman in his last year as governor. Allen has repeatedly criticized Kaine for taking the DNC job, although former governor Jim Gilmore also was chairman of the RNC while governor, and Allen as governor chaired the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. Allen has said those were different because, by Kaine’s own admission, the state was facing a dire economic crisis in his last year as governor as he also served with the DNC.
Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis called the ad “a lecture for Washington: ‘Do what I say and not what I do.’”
Kaine’s campaign has put an additional $2 million into ads recently, bumping its buy up to $9.5 million total.
In a conference call with reporters, Kaine campaign staffers said they feel good about where the campaign is. Although outside third-party groups like Crossroads GPS and the national Chamber of Commerce have poured millions of dollars into ads against Kaine, strategist Mo Elleithee said that hasn’t “moved the needle.”
The race between Allen and Kaine has been tied in polls for more than a year; in the past couple of weeks several polls have indicated a slight lead by Kaine, although today one poll showed a Kaine lead while another showed an Allen lead.