In her second run for the Senate, Linda McMahon seems to have realized that she needs to temper her teabaggy leanings and sound Republican-lite. So she was first out of the gate to distance herself from the unraveling Mitt Romney.
“I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47% of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. People today are struggling because the government has failed to keep America competitive, failed to support job creators, and failed to get our economy back on track,” McMahon said.
Yeah, except here's McMahon's problem. The very day she launched her 2012 Senate campaign, this happened:
When News 8 questioned McMahon regarding President Obama's push for higher taxes on wealthy, she said she would like everyone to pay their fair share.
"I'd like to see everyone pay their fair share," said McMahon. "Forty-seven percent of the people today don't pay any taxes, so let's have a fair tax code where everybody pays their taxes."
The so-called race for Chris Dodd's Senate seat in Connecticut appears to be winding down to what most observers thought it would be months ago when Dodd decided to retire rather than lose against Linda McMahon of WWE fame and her millions poured into the race. It was assumed popular and longtime attorney-general Richard Blumenthal would have no trouble defeating her. But Blumenthal hasn't had to really campaign in years and early on it showed. That seems to have changed in the last few weeks, simply by Blumenthal seizing on what McMahon says and calling her on it. One such issue, of many, has been her business-friendly position on the minimum wage.
It's taken awhile but some in the media are finally asking McMahon about it, such as CNN's Jessica Yellin. But to really get to the heart of the matter, Rachel Maddow steps in, as usual. Maddow calls out McMahon's denials and outright lies of what she said about reducing the minimum wage. Again, it's hard to argue with videotape even if you can rely on (most of) the media not to check.
Interestingly, Maddow praises Richard Blumenthal for aggressively calling her out on that, going on the offense. For almost all of the campaign that has not been the case, and Blumenthal has been criticized for coasting. As soon as he did in this one instance pollsters decided to give him him back his double-digit lead. It'll be interesting what the new storyline will be for local pollster Quinnipiac in their next poll with these recent developments as they had been pushing a nail-biter.
Ted Mann at The Day caught Connecticut state Sen. Len Fasano in this curiously bungled hand-off last night. Hopefully it's a harbinger of things to come for the McMahon campaign. Upped to YouTube for posterity.
"So let me tell you I am honored, truly I really mean honored to introduce the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, and the next U.S. Senator for the great state of New York, Linda McMahon."
Rob Simmons is former congressman from Connecticut now campaigning to win the Republican nomination to take on Senator Chris Dodd next year. A moderate, Simmons was one of the last Republicans in the House of Representatives before New England had the good sense to rid themselves entirely of them.
As we've seen earlier this year with Rob Simmons championing the efforts of radicals in the Tea Party movement, Simmons seems to be having no qualms at all about moving hard right to appease these extremist elements which will make up a large portion of the Republican primary voters, their "base". In some cases he's even abandoned positions he had voted in favor of while in congress. As he says on the Simmons' campaign blog:
I was wrong about two issues I supported in Congress – the Employee Free Choice Act (also known as “card check”) and “cap and trade.” After hearing more from the people who would be most affected by these bills, I became convinced they would cause more harm than good and I would oppose them in the Senate.
I learned of the enormous burden these two proposals would impose on job producers in the form of dramatically higher operating costs, and how those costs would be passed in turn onto workers and consumers. The net result will be an even weaker economy and fewer jobs.
Rob Simmons has long burnished his reputation as a moderate Republican in the classic New England mode: conservative on fiscal matters, liberal on social issues. He supports abortion rights, earned top grades from a national gay rights group and sits on the honorary board of Republicans for Environmental Protection.
He's also been a supporter of two bills long championed by liberals, union members and environmentalists.
The first is the Employee Free Choice Act, commonly known as "card check,'' which would permit workers to form a union if a majority sign pro-union cards, instead of voting by secret ballot. The second is a climate change bill known in political shorthand as Cap and Trade.
Simmons backed both measures when he served in Congress. But now, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, he has changed his mind.
At least one of his Republican opponents has noticed and is derisively calling out Simmons on his bullshit 'change of heart'.
"While Rob Simmons can spin this all he wants, he is in a primary battle and is desperate to get the support of real, principled Republicans,'' Tiffany Romero Grossman, spokeswoman for Sam Caligiuri, said in an email this morning. Both Caligiuri and Simmons are seeking the Republican nomination to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd.
"Everyone has the right to change their mind on where they stand - but doing so years later, once confronted with a competitive primary, simply stinks of political pandering,'' Grossman said in the email.
The Connecticut Democratic party put out yesterday one of the more salacious and offensive political ads I've ever seen. They did so by simply taking some WWE clips from YouTube and mixed that with a voice-over from former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, now running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.
Within an hour of this web ad going up YouTube removed the clips in question. The fact remains though that few political candidates usually want their names associated with simulated rape, public sex acts, and necrophilia.
As WWE Chief Operating Officer, Linda McMahon presided over programming that showed simulated rape, public sex and necrophilia, and now she wants to be our U.S. Senator? People across this state, not to mention the millions of women who are the victims of sexual violence every year, would be horrified and embarrassed to know that the person who seeks to represent them condones this kind of behavior. That kind of programming has no place in our society, and Linda McMahon has no place in the U.S. Senate.
Linda McMahon has begun airing tv ads in Connecticut in her quest to secure the Republican nomination and take on Chris Dodd for the U.S. Senate next November. When she recently stepped down as the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) it was known her approach would be a little different. And from not bothering to vote, to publicly supporting Democrats from time to time, not to mention her own wrestling antics, her entering an already crowded Republican field guarantees Connecticut politics won't be boring.
Senator Dodd just got his first primary opponent yesterday when virtual unknown Merrick Alpert announced his candidacy at his home. Alpert has no prior experience but apparently has the money to burn. A few hours later he would go on Fox News, where his appearance was more important than a White house press briefing going on at the same time. Alpert's talking points in this clip are straight out of the republican handbook. Earlier in the day he called Chris Dodd "Bambi", and that Dodd was part of the "culture of corruption" in Washington.
Dodd also has to contend with two real republican weasels who are vying for his job in the U.S. Senate.
Should be an interesting 18 months until the election. Or as one CT journalist succinctly put it,
"Somewhere, Glenn Beck and Rob Simmons are smiling."
Sean Hannity of Fox News tried this week to goad Republican challengers Sam Caliguiri and Rob Simmons into calling Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) "a lying weasel" on national tv. One gladly took the bit in his teeth and ran with it, one did not. Hannity's glee came from a local Connecticut rag publication, the New Haven Register.
The knives have come out in earnest for Senator Dodd in recent weeks in the wake of the AIG bonuses fiasco, and some recent bad poll numbers, and we can expect more yellow journalism in the coming months as this plays out until the senate election some 18 months away.
If these republicans want to lay with the likes of a Sean Hannity, intent on negative campaigning for the duration, then I fully expect Senator Dodd to recover. In recent years three republican congressmen in Connecticut have gone down to defeat employing such tactics, one of them being Rob Simmons himself.