US Rep. John Tierney tries to undercut bipartisan message of Richard Tisei with a new ad
Republican Richard Tisei is trying to channel the bipartisan message of US Sen. Scott Brown in his campaign against US Rep. John Tierney, but Tierney is attempting to undercut that claim by running a negative ad describing Tisei as an extremist supporter of the Tea Party.
As images of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich scroll across the screen, the Tierney ad uses snippets of Tisei quotes to imply that the former state senator and candidate for lieutenant governor supports an agenda that would outlaw abortion, restrict birth control, and push for billionaire tax cuts and middle class tax hikes.
“Anyone who knows me knows this is so over the top,” Tisei says.
The openly gay Tisei says he is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate who intends to go to Washington and work with members of both parties to get the country back on track. Like Brown, Tisei is trumpeting the support of Democrats to prove that he is a candidate with bipartisan appeal. Tisei says Americans are frustrated with the poisonous atmosphere in Washington. “After this election, there needs to be a lot of working together,” he says, noting Tierney votes 97 percent of the time in lockstep with his party.
Asked if he supports just spending cuts to rein in the federal budget deficit or a combination of cuts and new taxes, Tisei hedged. He said the budget needs to be cut and waste eliminated. “We do need more revenue,” he added, noting that he did not sign Grover Norquist’s pledge against new taxes. But Tisei was vague about what new revenues he would support, suggesting, without getting specific, that he would close loopholes and eliminate deductions.
The stakes are high in the Tierney-Tisei race, with money pouring in from outside the state. The conservative Young Guns PAC, which has close ties to Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, both Tea Party favorites, is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars and negative ads into the race focusing on the conviction of Tierney’s wife and brother-in-law on charges related to laundering illegal Internet gambling money.
The House Majority PAC, which supports Democratic candidates for Congress, has also reserved air time in October on Boston TV stations. Tisei said the House Majority PAC’s ads will be directed at him, but a Tierney spokesman said he didn’t know which race the PAC would target. PAC officials, who may be aiming their advertising at New Hampshire races, did not return phone calls.The action is also heavy on the ground in the Sixth Congressional District. When Tisei hosted a press conference on Thursday at his headquarters with Democrats who support him, dozens of Tierney supporters showed up outside with signs casting him as an extremist. “That means we’re doing pretty well,” Tisei said, pointing to the Tierney backers.
In a WBUR poll released this week, Tierney led Tisei by a margin of 39 to 32 percent, with Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman receiving 6 percent support.