The Republican Governor’s Association has waded in to the Massachusetts Governors race, launching an attack ad on independent candidate Tim Cahill. The ad appears to give some credence to recent polling showing Cahill substantially hurting Republican Charlie Baker in the three way race for Governor. Cahill can expect a good dose more of this treatment, and his financial situation will preclude him from an immediate paid response. From the Globe:
“We’re going to be making the argument that Tim Cahill is just like Deval Patrick, but worse, with regard to his record on fiscal issues and being reckless with taxpayer money,’’ said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the association.
Murtaugh declined to say how much the group was spending on the ads, but said it was a significant sum that would pay for airtime on cable and broadcast television, as well as radio.
Yes they are going to spend big to bring Cahill’s numbers down. As the Globe points out the RGA used the tactic effectively in New Jersey, where Republican Chris Christie won a three way race after a tough RGA financed series of attacks on the independent candidate in that race. The New Jersey ads have a familiar ring to them: “Christopher Daggett, just like Governor Jon Corzine, only worse”.
Cahill’s folks responded on Twitter:
Cahill’s political director, Jordan Gehrke, wrote on Twitter last night that the ads showed that Republicans are desperate after a poll last week showed Cahill in second place behind Patrick.
The response is fine, but Cahill will have a heavy burden to carry as a candidate if he cannot respond with some firepower of his own. And his finance situation simply precludes him from spending any real money responding now. So he will have to absorb the beating and hope for the best.
The growing national influence of RGA Chairman Haley Barbour cannot be understated here. Barbour has been a tremendously effective political leader for the Republican Governors, and he is building a national set of chits to call in if he runs for President in 2012. One of our favorite bloggers, Chris Cillizza at “The Fix”, rates Barbour the nations most influential Republican.
There was substantially more give and take on taxes yesterday between the candidates for Governor, but that is a story for another post.
Link to the RGA attack website here.
Read the Globe story here.