The Ad War in Georgia

by Eliana Johnson

Republicans are already using the leaked Nunn campaign plan as fodder for attack ads on Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.

The Ending Spending Action Fund went up on Friday morning with this ad, which highlights the vulnerabilities outlined by Nunn’s strategists: She’s “too liberal,” “a lightweight,” and “not a real Georgian,” and while she served as CEO of the non-profit Points of Light Foundation, it gave grants to “problematic entities” as well as “inmates, terrorists.” It concludes: “If Nunn’s supporters are worried, shouldn’t we be too?” 




The ad is the latest volley in an ad war between Ending Spending and the Nunn campaign. In March, Ending Spending was the first group to go on the air against Nunn; it did so with a six-figure spot that sought to tie Nunn to Obama. Anchored around tax day in mid-April, a narrator warned that Nunn “supports Obamacare and higher taxes” — a reference to Nunn’s claim that she is willing to “put everything – spending and revenue — on the table” to reduce the deficit. Nunn has studiously avoided answering questions about Obamacare, but her campaign plan poses the question of whether she should articulate an alternative to the Affordable Care Act or simply “remain reactive” to it.

The Nunn campaign bought airtime to respond to the ad . . . with a spot that features a picture of her with George H.W. Bush and talks about her work “leading President Bush’s Points of Light Foundation.” As her campaign plan notes, her connection to the Bush family is important to her bi-partisan appeal, particularly in a state that leans red. Bush was not happy. A spokesman said he was “disappointed to see that his image had been included in the political ad” and “looked forward to endorsing the GOP nominee.” 

In July, Ending Spending poured over $2 million into an ad again linking Nunn to Obama, sources say the Nunn campaign is going up on Friday with a new spot.

Whether Georgia voters see Nunn as a friend of Obama or of George H.W. Bush will be a deciding factor in the race, and a battle that is largely carried out over the airwaves.  

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