Echoing the populist themes she laid out in her speech to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, Elizabeth Warren released a new television ad on Thursday that argues that the political system favors corporate interests at the expense of small businesses.
Meanwhile, Warren’s Republican opponent, Senator Scott Brown, plans to release his own ad Friday that showcases his work passing a law that banned insider trading in Congress.
Brown’s ad is designed to burnish his bipartisan credentials and everyman image. It features footage of him driving in his pickup truck and shows President Obama telling him “good job” at the White House signing ceremony for the insider-trading bill.
Warren’s ad is an attempt to rebut Brown’s portrait of her as an enemy of free enterprise and to appeal to frustrated middle-class voters. It shows images of men and women in a clothing store, an insurance office, a coffee shop, and other small businesses.
Much of the language is similar to Warren’s speech at the convention.
“Small business owners bust their tails every day, but they can’t afford armies of lobbyists in Washington,” Warren says in the ad. “No one says it, but the system is rigged against them.”
As the ad shifts to show towering glass-and-steel skyscrapers, a narrator says: “Big profitable corporations pay no taxes. Big oil companies pocket billions in tax breaks. Elizabeth Warren’s plan: get rid of the loopholes and special breaks. And level the playing field for small businesses. Give everyone a chance to succeed.”
Warren, a Wall Street critic and Harvard Law professor, then closes the ad with a declaration that “Washington shouldn’t be rigged for the big guys.”
Brown’s ad promotes his work on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act, which Obama signed in April.
With its images of traders on the floor of a stock exchange, it also positions Brown as someone willing to rein in Wall Street excesses, a stance for which Warren is better known.
“After I was elected, I got my first lesson on how Washington works,” Brown says in the ad. “Turns out members of Congress were making money in the stock market trading on insider information. And it was all perfectly legal. If you did that, you’d go to jail.”
So, Brown says, he filed a bill to stop the practice.
“For me, it’s pretty simple,” he says. “The politicians? They should live by the same laws as everyone else.”
A top Republican’s own super PAC hits Tierney
A conservative super PAC affiliated with House majority leader Eric Cantor said it will begin an $894,000 television advertising campaign on Friday targeting US Representative John Tierney and his family’s legal troubles.
The advertisement placed by the YG Action Fund will be, at least for now, the only negative ad on the air that has been placed by an outside group against a Massachusetts congressional candidate. Tierney, an eight-term Democrat from Salem, is facing a difficult reelection campaign against Richard R. Tisei, a former Republican leader in the state Senate.
The higher-profile US Senate race between Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren has not drawn outside ads since January, when the two signed an agreement that penalizes political action committees who advertise on their behalf.
The anti-Tierney ad, first reported by Roll Call, focuses on the offshore gambling ring run by Tierney’s brother-in-law, Robert Eremian, which led to Tierney’s wife pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns, and serving 30 days in jail.
“What’s the truth about John Tierney?” a narrator asks before recounting some of the saga. “His wife went to jail while he sat silent in court. His own brother-in-law says Tierney knew everything and is a liar.”
A male voice paraphrases Eremian’s claim that Tierney “threw my sister under the bus to save his political career.” Tierney has denied the accusation and Eremian has not offered evidence to back it up.
Such attack ads can be effective. But this one could also hurt Tisei’s campaign message that he is independent from Republican leaders in Washington.
YG Action Fund was founded by two former aides to Cantor, a leader of the so-called Young Guns movement.
Tierney’s campaign manager Matt Robison said “this disgusting attack on Patrice Tierney’s family crisis shows that Paul Ryan’s right-wing Republican group will say and do anything to elect their hand-picked Republican candidate, Richard Tisei, because he supports the disastrous plans to cut taxes on the wealthy and pay for it by ending Medicare.”
He added that Tisei “should be ashamed of himself for allowing this shadowy group to do his dirty work.”
Brad Dayspring, an official with YG Action Fund, defended the ad as “a factually accurate description of John Tierney’s moral character and record.”