by Jim Nintzel
The House Majority PAC is flexing a little muscle in Congressional District 2 with a new TV ad blasting Republican Martha McSally.
UPDATE: McSally has issued a statement regarding the TV ad:
The ad being run by Ron Barber's Washington funders is untrue and smacks of sexism. First Ron Barber says Republicans are "a bunch of white guys" and now he is using a tired, old stereotype to attack me. It's overt sexism and the kind of negativity I've been dealing with and fought against my entire military career. Besides, I was too busy shooting Al Qaeda with a 30 millimeter and eating at deployed chow halls to spend too much time in the kitchen. I will always keep our promise to seniors on Social Security and Medicare and any attempt to allege otherwise is false and misleading. The ad is simply outrageous and Ron Barber needs to join me in calling for this ad to be taken off the air.
The ad is launching one day after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a poll showing that Barber was leading McSally by 14 percentage points.
Andy Stone, a spokesman for the House Majority PAC, tells The Range that the House Majority PAC is spending $150,000 to run the ad over the next week.
As National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said yesterday, it seems odd that the House Majority PAC would be spending a lot of money in CD2 if Barber had such a large lead. We understand that the DCCC is also reserving time in CD2.
But Stone said the political committee is spending the money to ward off future support for McSally by third-party groups as they begin to move their money from supporting a flailing Romney campaign to shoring up efforts to win the Senate and hang onto a majority in the House of Representatives.
In other CD2 news: McSally picked up the endorsement of Republican Jim Kolbe, the former congressman who represented the area for 11 terms before retiring in 2006.
"I'm enthusiastic about the prospect of Martha McSally representing Arizona's Second District in Congress," said Kolbe in a statement. "At a time when Congress is so divided, we need someone who understands what it takes to get things done. Martha has that leadership experience; her life has always been about bringing people together to solve complex problems like the ones our nation faces today. She'll do a great job looking after our interests in Congress, and I am proud to endorse her. She deserves the support of all of us."
A Kolbe endorsement isn't a given for Republican congressional candidates in Southern Arizona. Despite many entreaties from supporters of Jesse Kelly in 2010 and earlier this year in the special election, Kolbe did not endorse the Tea Party Republican candidate.
Kolbe also criticized the House Majority PAC ad:
At a time when the fiscal crisis facing taxpayers and our government has never been worse it is simply wrong for Congressman Barber and his Washington backers to be running attack ads against Martha McSally that rely on a decades old gender stereotype of keeping women in the kitchen; Martha McSally has spent a lifetime fighting those stereotypes. The spreading red ink of a growing deficit that the next Congress will have to confront requires thoughtful ideas and serious discussion—not scare tactics or cheap shots that have no basis in fact. Congressman Barber should demand that the Democrat leadership in Congress take these ads off the air.