Ahead of tonight’s debate with opponent Timothy M. Kaine, GOP U.S. Senate nominee George Allen is out with a new ad on a familiar theme – looming defense cuts.
Titled “Still,” the 30-second spot is the Allen campaign’s second taking Kaine to task for his support of last year’s bipartisan debt deal, which has resulted in the possibility of deep cuts to the military and steep job losses in Virginia.
“If Washington doesn’t do its job, will we still have ours? Will our military still be strong?” a narrator says to open the ad. “Tim Kaine supported last year’s debt deal that will impose devastating defense cuts, threatening Virginia jobs. George Allen opposed it. Kaine attacked him and insisted the deal was ‘the right thing to do.’”
While Allen and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposed the debt reduction deal, many Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Gov. Bob McDonnell supported the measure.
House Republicans later passed legislation that would avoid the defense cuts by shifting the reductions to domestic programs like food stamps and pension plans, but it gained no traction in the Senate.
“George Allen’s plan stops the defense cuts, creates jobs, and grows our economy,” the ad’s narrator says. “George Allen knows his job is to fight for ours.”
The debt deal established $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts in defense and in domestic spending to be phased in beginning in 2013 if Congress and the president cannot reach a new debt-reduction plan.
If the sequestration is not averted, Virginia stands to lose 207,571 jobs from federal spending cuts — 136,191 resulting from Department of Defense cuts and 71,380 from non-Defense Department cuts — starting next year, according to an analysis released in July.
Kaine has also stressed the need to find a way to avoid the military cuts by balancing alternative cuts and new revenues.
“George Allen was willing to let our government default on its obligations rather than join his own party’s leaders in a compromise — a position that led to a downgrade of our nation’s credit rating. So, it’s not surprising that the ideas he’s furthering make deep defense and domestic cuts, more likely, not less,” said Kaine campaign spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “While Tim Kaine has put forward a bipartisan, workable solution to avert this crisis, George Allen is pushing measures, like the 34th vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that would actually add to the deficit and further gridlock our government in yet another partisan battle.”