This Is Brownback
Using a pair of "robocalls" targeting Republicans in Iowa, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is attacking his rivals on abortion in the hopes of scoring an upset victory in the state's straw poll a week from Saturday.
The automated phone calls have drawn condemnation from their targets -- former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo -- and underscore the stakes for the handful of candidates who are competing in the contest. Sen. John McCain and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani are not participating.
The risk is highest for Romney, who has tens of millions of dollars more than any of the other candidates in the putting their hats in the ring for the famed Ames straw poll. A loss here, despite his vast resources, could give Giuliani and McCain a new opening to question Romney's appeal within the Republican Party.
Romney returned to Iowa today for a 48-hour swing through small towns, where he will hold a series of "Ask Mitt Anything" town halls. Romney told reporters that Brownback "has run a uniformly negative campaign, which has distorted the truth and been mean-spirited. I think Iowans will reject that."
In one call, Brownback attacks Romney, accusing him of pledging "to support and uphold pro-abortion policies" and "life destructive embryonic stem cell research." The call singles out Romney's wife, Ann, as a contributor to Planned Parenthood.
The second call alleges that Tancredo "has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the founder of a Planned Parenthood network, the largest provider of abortion in the world. Say no to Tom Tancredo and his Planned Parenthood friends."
Both are described by the female caller as "an urgent alert for pro life Republicans." Romney and Tancredo condemned them as innacurate and have demanded apologies from Brownback.
"This is now the second time they're resorted to negative tactics, the first being a particularly offensive attack on the governor concerning his faith," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said. "It's time for them to show some decency and cease with such awful personal attacks on the governor's wife."
In a statment, Tancredo wrote that Brownback "has approved the use of despicable and deceitful campaign tactics in an effort to deliberately mislead the voters of Iowa concerning my record and my commitment to life." Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of the conservative Eagle Forum, also issued a statement calling it "ridiculous" to question Tancredo's "commitment to life."
Romney and Tancredo also got some help from an unexpected source: Iowa's Democratic Party, which issued a statement condemning Brownback: "Brownback's lackluster fundraising has left him scrambling for relevancy and he needs to exceed expectations in the Straw Poll to have any hope of continuing the campaign," said the statement from Carrie Giddins, the party's communications director.
--Michael D. Shear
Posted by: eesti006 | July 28, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.