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GOP State Central Flooded With Calls Over McMahon Ad

by Hugh McQuaid | Oct 22, 2012 3:25pm
(5) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2012

(Updated 4:15 p.m.) One of Linda McMahon’s campaign ads may have backfired, at least among some of her Republican supporters. McMahon’s staff recently found themselves having to explain on Facebook that the Republican running for U.S. Senate does in fact support a Republican for president.

McMahon is in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy for retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat.

At issue is an ad the campaign began running last week, which featured voters who said they were supporting both McMahon and President Barack Obama, a Democrat. McMahon has endorsed Republican Mitt Romney in the presidential race. She appears in the ad only briefly, as a subtitle notes she approved the message.

The commercial seems to have upset Republican McMahon supporters, some of whom voiced their concerns in the comment section of the candidate’s Facebook page.

“You just lost my vote endorsing Obama,” one Facebook user posting as Mark Gery said in the comment section of a recent picture of McMahon on a jobs tour.

“I REALLY didn’t like her ads about Obama votes who were voting for her as well. If she is so attached at the hip with the Obama administration that she would put out an ad like that, I’ll leave her slot blank,” another user posting as Ellen Collins said.

Comments like that have been so numerous that McMahon’s staff has posted the following statement more than a dozen times in response:

“Linda actively supports Governor Romney. The ad is Democrats explaining that they are going to vote for Linda on the Independent party line. There are thousands of Democrats and Independents who are supporting Linda over Chris Murphy because she is a job creator, not a professional politician.”

Screengrab of McMahon’s Facebook page

McMahon’s spokesman Todd Abrajano said there was no way to be sure who the Facebook commenters are.

“For all I know Congressman Murphy could be sending his supporters over there to make hay,” he said.

But Facebook isn’t the only place Republicans are letting their feelings about the ad be known. Jerry Labriola, the state Republican Party chairman, said Republicans have been calling state central with their concerns. He said it’s generated the highest volume of calls he’s seen since becoming chairman.

“I’m working as hard as I can for our Republican ticket,” Labriola said. “I believe Gov. Romney’s pro-economic growth message is resonating and he can still win Connecticut. Other than that, I have no comment.”

Abrajano said all the supporters the campaign has talked to are savvy enough to see the purpose of the ad, which is to let Democrats know it’s alright to vote for both Obama and McMahon. He said a Republican can’t win a statewide election in Connecticut without the support of some Democrats.

“The numbers just don’t add up,” he said. “The people we’ve talked to, they understand what the ad is about and they understand that in order for Linda McMahon to win on Election Day she’s going to need a coalition of Republicans, independents, and Democrats.”

While a commercial encouraging ticket splitting seems counter-intuitive, the general election has never been about party affiliation for McMahon, who refers to herself as an “independent thinker” more often than as a Republican.

Vin Moscardelli, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut, said that while he was surprised by how explicitly the ad lays out its message, its general purpose reflects the reality of running as a Republican in a state Obama will almost surely win.

“She has to limit the extent at which people who turn out to cast votes for the president also cast votes for down-ticket candidates like Murphy,” he said. “This is effectively what she’s been asking people to do all along because no one really expects Gov. Romney to win Connecticut.”

Though the commercial does risk alienating Republican voters, Moscardelli said it might be a risk worth taking.

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(5) Comments

posted by: meridenite | October 22, 2012  5:23pm

This has to be one of the dumbest ads I’ve ever seen.

posted by: ... | October 22, 2012  7:39pm

...

Linda cannot be bought (as she famously says) because she’s selling the product: herself. If she takes office though, she’ll have access to the thousands of lobbyists and the eyes of SuperPacs willing to buy her out so her fortune remains in tact. And she’s gonna sell it any way she can slice it or dice to the voting populous. She doesn’t care (or have much knowledge) of public policy, but she sure enjoys selling things to the broadest base possible with the vaguest terms in her arsenal.

posted by: stellathecat | October 23, 2012  4:48pm

If I were the President I wouldn’t forget to send Linda McMahon a thank you note this week. This type of ad is a first for me. I would not be surprised if it is not criticized by many staunch Romney supporters and I will be very surprised if it attracts the urban voters it is aimed at.

posted by: Kim Hynes | October 24, 2012  12:29pm

Not going to comment about the content of the ad, but I find it interesting that the McMahon campaign feels that they have no way of knowing who wrote the facebook comments.  One can’t comment on facebook anonymously - and it shouldn’t be that difficult to click through to the commenters’ walls to see who they are and in all likelihood what their politics are.

posted by: Concerned Citizen | October 25, 2012  11:35am

As someone who is very concerned about what is happening in our democracy I find Linda McMahon’s commercials and this interview clip truly disturbing; in fact, frightening! She could not give one thing on which she agrees with President Obama. Yet she claims she is going to Washington to work with President Obama!

Like members of the Tea Party, McMahon want to go to Congress so that she can help the Republicans to take over the Senate. They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act! They want to sunset Medicare! Those people who are being paid to say they support McMahon and the President are paid voices; let’s not forget that.
The Republicans, including McMahon, will do and say anything to win this election. She said she is running her campaign to win. She means winning at all costs. Unless she wins in CT she cannot help Romney.  She has two goals: to get to the Senate (although we have no evidence that she will serve the best interest of CT, and do what is best for the country). McMahon is an arrogant woman who believes her money should be able to get her exactly what she wants.
Why has she taken down the despicable videos from the WWE and from her previous campaign? Because those showed the real McMahon -  ruthless and callous.

The false and malicious claims she is making against Murphy is evidence that she cares nothing about the facts; she cares only about what will get her to Washington. McMahon thinks her money can insulate her against any potential blow-back. Every well-thinking, ethical American should be frightened by what she has been able to do with her commercials.

The SuperPacs are funding unethical activities across the country to suppress the Democratic voter turnout.  Mrs. McMahon is using her millions of dollars to buy votes with deception and lies. In CT we need to think first about having representatives in Congress who are going to act in the best interest of CT residents and of the country. Remember her campaign against Blumenthal? Can you imagine her working with him in Congress on our behalf?  Neither Mrs. McMahon, Mr. Romney, nor Andrew Roraback will do anything for the average CT resident or average American. McMahon is ruthless; she will do anything to win. Let us Say NO to Linda McMahon and to Andrew Roraback.