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Griffith's new ad: 'Obama loves Boucher'

Ben Pershing

Republican candidates across the country are trying to tie Democratic incumbents to President Obama and his agenda, but few are likely to be as blunt and explicit about it as state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R).

Running to unseat veteran Rep. Rick Boucher (D) in Virginia's 9th Congressional District, Griffith's campaign is on the air with a new television ad whose title tells the story -- "Obama loves Rick Boucher."

"Love the Obama Washington agenda? Rick Boucher does," says the narrator, before a video clip that shows Obama saying, "I love Rick Boucher." That clip is played repeatedly, as the narrator ticks off bills actually or allegedly supported by Boucher: the "cap and trade" energy bill, the "big bailouts" and "trillion-dollar deficit."

"Obama loves Boucher, because Boucher loves Obama's agenda, but shouldn't Southwest Virginia come first?" the narrator asks.

Griffith's new ad was unveiled just days after the National Republican Congressional Committee weighed in with a spot of its own, a "comparison" ad that also excoriates Boucher for supporting bailouts and a huge deficit:

The barrage of negative Republican ads come as Boucher has used his own advertising -- and his huge cash advantage over Griffith -- to paint himself as an independent voice for the 9th district. His last spot emphasized that he has the "values" of Southwest Virginia, while previous ads focused on his willingness to buck his party by voting against Obama's health-reform bill, among other issues.

Boucher has survived for almost two decades in a conservative region by standing apart from national Democrats. So far it's not clear whether 2010 will finally be the year Republicans successfully lash him to the "D" after his name. The last independent poll of the 9th district race showed Boucher ahead by 10 points.

By Ben Pershing  | September 21, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Morgan Griffith, Rick Boucher  
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