Friday, October 31, 2008

Republicans Turn to ‘No Blank Check’ in Final Days

By Nathan L. Gonzales

With Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) White House prospects dimming and just days to go before the elections, Republicans are turning to a “no blank check” strategy in an effort to minimize their losses in the House and Senate.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been hammering the "no blank check" theme in TV ads in North Carolina, where Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) is in a tough fight with state Sen. Kay Hagan (D).

“Who’s the Senate race really about? Hagan or Dole? Neither one,” the announcer says in one spot. “It’s about liberals in Washington. They want complete control of the government. They spent $10 million dollars on a hoax,” with a picture of Hagan on the screen.

“The left wants 60 votes in the Senate. To push radical cuts to our military. Massive tax increases. Liberal judges. And expand welfare,” the ad continues. “Kay Hagan, if she wins, liberals get a blank check.”

This week, the NRSC continued the same themes in Louisiana, with an ad attempting to label Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) as corrupt, liberal and someone who has voted with presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) more than 80 percent of the time.

“Don’t give Washington liberals complete control. Don’t give them a blank check,” says to the NRSC spot, which hinges on the notion that Louisiana is one state where Obama won’t do well on Election Day.

The “no blank check” strategy is also creeping into House races. Republican businessman Chris Hackett sounded the theme in an ad that began airing Monday. Hackett is running against freshman Rep. Christopher Carney (D) in Pennsylvania’s 10th district.

“What if Washington becomes controlled at all levels by big-government Democrats? It could happen this election. One party dominance can be very dangerous,” the ad begins.

Hackett’s ad then features Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the Keystone State’s popular senior Senator, talking straight to the camera.

“I am very concerned about one-party rule in Washington,” Specter says in the spot. “That’s why it’s so important to elect Chris Hackett to Congress. With Chris Hackett, we’ll have a check against massive Democratic control. And that’s vital for our country.”

In the Minnesota Senate race, Democrats are making the opposite case.

“We don’t have a lot of time to turn our economy around. And it’s going to take a new president and 60 Senators willing to stand up for change. Now, any single Republican can block the progress we need,” Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said in a TV ad done for the Democratic nominee. “Al Franken could very well be that 60th vote. I hope you’ll vote for Al Franken. Let’s end the gridlock and get our country moving.”

This story first appeared on on October 29, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.