Brunner, U.S. Chamber up with ads attacking McCaskill, who appears on The Colbert Report
Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Brunner and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are both up with new ads this week with a common target: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
The senator, meanwhile, was featured Tuesday night on the cable mock-news comedy show, The Colbert Report, which ran her latest ad defending herself.
The Brunner TV ad, called “Numbers,” began running Tuesday statewide in what one source called a significant buy of several hundred thousand dollars. Brunner's campaign declined comment.
The U.S. Chamber’s ad is to begin running Wednesday for at least 10 days, according to the Associated Press and other news outlets. The chamber is not disclosing how much it is spending, but such a buy – if statewide – would be at least $200,000.
The chamber’s ad is among similar spots running in four states, all of which attack Democrats in the U.S. Senate over their 2010 vote in favor of the federal health care changes.
The Brunner TV spot, meanwhile, jabs at McCaskill over federal spending. Brunner, a multi-millionaire businessman, speaks into the camera and promises to cut federal spending, if elected. He does not specify what he would cut.
Caitlin Legacki, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, asserted late Tuesday, "Once again, John Brunner conveniently failed to mention he's the only candidate in this race who recently laid off workers and saw his company's credit downgraded as a direct result of his greed and mismanagement...."
Brunner also has launched a new radio ad that features his wife, Jan Brunner, who tells the listener about her husband’s good works, including his financing of churches in Africa, and his lifelong embrace of religion.
Brunner does not mention in either ad his two main rivals in the Aug. 7 Republican primary: former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman or U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood.
Brunner is the only one of the Missouri Republican candidates to have run TV ads statewide so far. As of his last campaign report, Brunner had spent more than $1 million on TV ads.
In her TV appearance with comedian Stephen Colbert, McCaskill didn’t mention her Republican rivals. Instead, she zeroes in on the SuperPACs with unidentified donors – including the U.S. Chamber – who already have spent more than $4 million on TV ads attacking her.
UPDATE: But her campaign spokesman on Wednesday said there was another link between the U.S. Chamber and Brunner ads.
"The Chamber has made it clear that John Brunner is their candidate, so perhaps he can figure out why these (Chamber) ads are anonymous and who's paying for them," said McCaskill campaign press secretary Erik Dorey.
"Missourians deserve to know who is paying for these anonymous attack ads and if John Brunner is the kind of leader he claims to be, he should call on the Chamber to disclose their donors or stop running these smear campaigns. " End update
Steelman cites endorsement from group against abortion
Steelman, who made news last week with her appearances with the California-based Tea Party Express, is highlighting this week the endorsement she has received from the Susan B Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national political action committee that opposes abortion.
All three of the chief Republican candidates have been emphasizing their opposition to abortion.