Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) today responded to a searing ad released Tuesday by former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) that attempted to paint his opponent for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat as unpatriotic because of her 2006 vote against a resolution involving the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Hoping to mitigate any potential damage caused by Thompson’s spot, which showed images of a charred building and fliers of missing persons from 9/11, Baldwin’s team released a retaliatory ad claiming that Thompson profited off of 9/11 victims, citing an $11 million contract won by Logistics Health, Inc. while Thompson was board chairman.
“Tommy Thompson should be ashamed,” the ad concludes, showing the former Health and Human Services secretary’s image and a variation of a tagline the campaign has been using in most of its negative spots: “Tommy, he’s not for you anymore.”
It’s unclear which ad will resonate more with Wisconsin voters, who began seeing the Thompson spot statewide Tuesday and will see the Baldwin response statewide today. Roll Call currently rates this race as a Tossup, and any movement in the next 13 days could be significant, though most sources on the ground suggest it will come down to how well the presidential tickets perform in the state.
Sources in both parties have speculated that the Thompson ad is vaguely reminiscent of a 2008 Elizabeth Dole spot that she ran against now-Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.) accusing the Democrat of being godless, but also warned that it was too soon to tell how Wisconsin voters will respond to the 9/11 ad.
Regardless, it was clear the Baldwin campaign wanted to try to get out in front of the story as swiftly as possible.