Crossroads GPS, the super PAC co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, today released its first ad in the unexpectedly competitive Maine Senate race, attacking former independent Gov. Angus King.
The ad, titled “Fit for a King,” focuses on King’s tenure as governor from 1995 to 2003.
“Angus King, or King Angus?” asks a female narrator, as a gold crown appears over King’s name. “He certainly seems to have let down his subjects, the people of Maine. King supported big tax increases that would have hurt small businesses. Worse, as governor, King slashed funding for our schools. And King increased spending by 51 percent. King managed to turn a $60 million budget surplus into a nearly $1 billion shortfall.”
Watch the ad:
King, who was initially viewed as the clear front-runner in the race, has recently lost ground in the polls to Republican Charlie Summers. Various Republican groups, such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have also poured money into ads attacking King.
“With this record,” the narrator in the Crossroads ad concludes, “Maine can’t afford Angus King in the Senate.”
The ad will begin running today on broadcast and cable networks. Crossroads has put $309,000 behind the buy.
“Angus King’s record as a tax-and-spend politician is out-of-touch with the type of leadership the citizens of Maine expect, said Nate Hodson, Crossroads GPS Director of State and Regional Media Relations. “Crossroads is working to stop the higher taxes and more government spending that Angus King supports, which hurts Maine families.”
King has decried spending by outside groups in the race, and initially suggested a ban on outside spending. After his opponents refused to agree to a ban, he relaxed his position.
The King campaign did not respond to request for comment about the ad.
The Summers campaign reiterated the ad’s attacks on King.
“The more Mainers learn about King’s financial mismanagement, pledge to raise taxes on investments by 133%, and flip flop on natural gas after joining the board of a natural gas firm, the more his support shrinks,” said spokesman Drew Brandewie. “And the more Charlie meets with working people all across Maine the more they realize that a small businessman who shares their principles and priorities is the best person to cut spending, keep taxes low, and balance budgets in Washington.”
Democratic candidate Cynthia Dill attacked Crossroads for getting involved.
“The ad is more evidence that loads of money does not translate into quality, or reflect Maine values,” said Dill. “The Crossroads GPS commercial is another inane ad, sponsored by spoiled, out-of-state bullies, as I am sure Maine people will immediately realize.”