Polls show that Democrat Bill Nelson's negative attacks on Republican Connie Mack are still drawing blood and now Mack is out with a new ad and counterpunch. The 30-second ad, the second released in a week, attempts to link Nelson to potential cuts in military spending if Congress and the White House can't find a way to trim the budget by year's end.
The ad correctly notes that Nelson voted in August 2011 for a debt deal that could trigger as much as $500 billion in spending cuts to the Department of Defense's budget if a compromise isn't worked out. The trigger, known as sequestration, was supported by Nelson as part of the debt limit debate that allowed for an increase in the debt limit in exchange for a automatic spending cuts if a resolution is not found by a Super Committee by the end of this year.
But the add misleads when it concludes that the cuts are inevitable. Nelson has said he opposes sequestration, primarily because of the damage it could do to the military budget. He has been one of a handful of moderate senators willing to seeking an alternative to the cuts in the military budget before the deadline. He points to letters he has written to Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham seeking alternatives to defense cuts.
Mack, who voted against the sequestration deal, blames Nelson for setting in motion the prospect of the defense cuts. It's an attack line being used by Republican challengers in tough Senate races across the nation.
Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin called the premise of Mack's attack false. "Nelson's policy is not sequestration. Nor will the military be gutted in January,'' he said.
Here's the text of the ad:
The new ad “Gutting The Military” states:
Bill Nelson says one thing to people of Florida.
But when he's in Washington,
He votes like a LockStep Liberal with Barack Obama.
August 2011, Nelson voted to gut our nation's military by over $500 billion.
A move that put thousands of Florida jobs in jeopardy.
And that top military commanders have warned will weaken military readiness.
Now in 2012 Nelson is up for reelection so he's singing a different tune saying these cuts would hurt defense.
But the fact is because of Bill Nelson, those cuts will go into effect January 1st.
That is just unconscionable.
Bill Nelson and Barack Obama, LockStep Liberals.
Wrong for Florida.
Wrong for America.