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Crossroads hits Kaine on taxes in new ad

Crossroads GPS, a conservative group founded by Karl Rove, is back on the attack in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, labeling Democratic candidate Timothy M. Kaine a “tax-loving politician.”

“They say Virginia is for lovers. Tim Kaine loves taxes,” the narrator says, noting that Kaine pushed for tax hikes as governor and as Democratic National Committee chairman supported the president’s health care overhaul.

“Now Kaine’s considering a new tax on those who can least afford it,” the narrator ads.

The reference is to a moment at a recent debate between Kaine and his opponent, George Allen, in which Kaine was asked if he thought all Virginians should pay some level of income tax.

“I would be open to a proposal to have some minimum tax level for everyone,” Kaine replied, later explaining that while he did not support the concept of federal income tax on all Americans, he would not close the door on discussing such a concept.

“When they throw everything but the kitchen sink at you, all that’s left is the kitchen sink and the garbage disposal, and that’s what Crossroads is offering in their latest ad,” responded Kaine campaign spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “Virginia voters know Tim Kaine cut taxes for tens of thousands of residents, eliminated the estate tax, and kept tax burdens lower under his administration than George Allen did when he was governor.”

The ad, titled “Lovers,” will air in Virginia for a week backed by a $477,000 ad buy. So far, Crossroads GPS and its affiliated group, American Crossroads, have spent nearly $11 million on the state’s Senate race.