McAuliffe and Negative Campaigning
Terry McAuliffe sent out a mailer full of reported facts that reflect negatively on Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran. This brought on a debate from Deeds and Moran supporters on how T-Mac claims to be the “positive” candidate but “attacks” his opposing candidates, resulting in the following responses from McAuliffe supporters:
I’m outraged at people calling the T-Mac mailer negative. Since when are facts like money raised or votes taken negative?
Aside from whining about supposed “attacks,” can anyone point to statements in Terry’s mailing that are factually inaccurate? If not, then by definition they can’t be “attacks,” unless you believe that your candidate’s own record is somehow bad.
I find Lowell’s comments the most interesting, given how long he’s been trying to sell McAuliffe. T-Mac, for his part, has taken a very subjective view of his own record:
His time as Bill Clinton’s fundraiser, including selling the Lincoln bedroom to the richest donors? Not relevant.
His time as DNC Chairman, cozying up with Wall Street investors and corporate megadonors? Not relevant.
So what is relevant? Apparently, it’s only his record as a businessman, and his ability to create jobs (though none of them have ever been created in Virginia). Oh, but his investment in Global Crossing, a company he made millions off of before more than ten thousand employees lost their jobs? Not relevant.
For his part, Brian Moran released a TV ad attacking McAuliffe’s record, even the parts McAuliffe says don’t matter:
In case you don’t have the source materials Moran quotes handy, here they are:
Obama ran against exactly the kind of big-money 1990s politics that McAuliffe has come to represent. A McAuliffe victory would signal that despite all the talk of a new kind of politics for the party in the age of Obama, the old kind of Democratic politics is still doing quite well.
McAuliffe has made a fortune investing — sometimes in companies that went bust, laid off thousands and drained investors’ and employees’ savings.
So what’s McAuliffe’s response?
Of course. They’re “false attacks”. Why are they false? McAuliffe never bothers to explain. After all, all Moran’s ad does is quote directly from what’s been reported in the Post and Times. Are they attacks? According to the standard of Ben Tribbett and Lowell Feld, no, they’re not. They’re facts. They’re McAuliffe’s record.
And when someone with such a long public record is only running on a small faction of it and is waving his arms frantically saying, “Don’t pay attention to the rest! Look at this one bank I helped!”, it makes me wonder what else he’s hiding, and why he really wants to be Governor in a state he’s had no involvement in before 10 months ago.