Obama dragged into Montana Senate election
May 9th, 2012
12:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama dragged into Montana Senate election

(CNN) – A new ad from the Rep. Denny Rehberg, the Republican Senate candidate in Montana, attempts to negatively tie his Democratic rival, incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, to President Barack Obama.

The 30-second spot and the first from Rehberg during this election cycle, says Tester voted for "higher taxes 55 times, to raise his own pay, spend your tax dollars on bonuses for Wall Street executives, give Obama his way with your money 95% of the time."

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The president has already played a central role in the competitive Senate race with Rehberg capitalizing on Obama's low approval ratings in the state and Tester distancing himself from the leader of his party.

In an interview last month on MSNBC, Tester acknowledged the president "isn't doing well in a state like Montana," but added "this isn't about the presidential race. This is about the U.S. Senate race in Montana."

Tester campaign spokesman Aaron Murphy said Rehberg is attempting to make the race about national politics because "he knows he can't beat Jon Tester when it comes to holding himself accountable, defending our freedoms of making responsible decisions for Montana."

"This is Congressman Rehberg's first TV ad of this campaign, and because he has nothing better to run on, it's another negative attack on Jon Tester," Murphy said in an email.

A Gallup survey released last year indicated Obama had a 34% approval rating in the state, besting rates in only five other states. Obama lost the state in the 2008 election by just over two percentage points to then-GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.

Tester was elected to the Senate by a slim margin in 2006, the year Democrats regained control of the upper chamber. The freshman senator has made government reform a top priority during his tenure, work on which was the subject of his most recent ad, released earlier this week.

Rehberg, a former lieutenant governor, is in his 6th term as the at large Montana representative in the House.

Recent polls show Rehberg and Tester locked in a tight race and non-partisan political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg list the race as a "toss up."

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Federal inmate's sizable West Virginia presidential vote tally

Santorum explains late night endorsement on late night TV

Bachmann a Swiss citizen?


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Montana • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    All we need to know about the intelligence level to be expected from MN's voters can be said in one word: Bachman.

    May 9, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Niko_in_Richmond

    I am at the point where I hope that all Democrats lose and the Republicans can have complete control of the government. When they put us back on that cliff where we were at the end of George W. Bush's eight years in office, I would love to be around so I could say I told you so.

    May 9, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. John. PA

    "negatively tie his Democratic rival, incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, to President Barack Obama"

    What, Democrats can't run away from their leader, their party, their agenda that has put America on the brink of a Depression.

    The primary elections on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 showed undeniably that the OWS is dead, the TeaParty is alive, American voters are tired of the media propping up, covering up for Obama and can’t wait to show up and vote him out. The Democrats / liberals didn’t see the 2010 Republican landslide win coming and Democrats / liberals don’t see the 2012 landslide Republican win coming.

    The country is looking for a replacement to put in the oval office. The American public has already made up its mind that they are not going to vote for Obama and this version of the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party continues to support Obama and not run another candidate; you will see the Democrats get massacred in the 2012 election.
    .

    May 9, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Try this on for size. Republicans vote to increase the size of the deficit every time they vote for unpaid tax cuts.

    May 9, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Can you name more than one city in Montana? Five seconds. 5-4-3-2-1 ....Urng! Most people cannot name one.

    May 9, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "I am at the point where I hope that all Democrats lose and the Republicans can have complete control of the government. When they put us back on that cliff where we were at the end of George W. Bush's eight years in office, I would love to be around so I could say I told you so."

    Sorry, but if that ever happens and the GOP/Teatrolls get their way, you'll be living on a corporate plantation receiving only your food, shelter and clothing as payment for your labor...maybe, MAYBE, permission to reproduce once. At that point, you won't dare upset massa by talking bad about the government massa purchased.

    May 9, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. 1twinsfan

    Snifit! I'll give you a pass. This is MT, not MN. Don't blame Bachmann on all Minnesotans. Most of us want her gone.

    May 9, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Try this on for size. Republicans vote to increase the size of the deficit every time they vote for unpaid tax cuts."

    Nuh uh. Tax cuts increase tax revenue by causing a magic secksy time explosion in the economy that more than compensates for the lower rates. I know this because Groverush Norquistbaugh says so.

    May 9, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Snifit! I'll give you a pass. This is MT, not MN. Don't blame Bachmann on all Minnesotans. Most of us want her gone."

    HA! Good point lol. I read it too quickly and said the first thing that popped into my head...oh well haha

    May 9, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Don't blame Bachmann on all Minnesotans."

    Also, sorry, but it can't be helped. All of MN is responsible for the state legislature they elect that then gerrymanders that district...and I do believe it qualifies as one of, if not THE, most gerrymandered district in the country.

    May 9, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Bob

    John. PA

    "negatively tie his Democratic rival, incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, to President Barack Obama"

    What, Democrats can't run away from their leader, their party, their agenda that has put America on the brink of a Depression.
    ----------------------------–
    You mean SAVED us from another Great Republican Depression.

    May 9, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    John, PA wrote:

    What, Democrats can't run away from their leader, their party, their agenda that has put America on the brink of a Depression.
    -----------------
    But, I guess Republicans can, have, and will continue to do so. Sorry, John. The economy was on the brink of Depression months before Election Day 2008. Conservative ideology took us over the brink, and Pres. Obama brought us in for a soft landing on the cliff face.

    Nice try, but we gotcha.

    May 9, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. John. PA

    Bob, the democrats SAVED NOTHING; especially tax pay dollars!

    The downward trend started in 2007 when the Democrats took over Congress and accelerated when Obama became president in 2009. We now have 3 of the 4 indicator of a second Great Depression in America, unemployment over 18%, housing sales the worst showing in 13 years and retail sales down year over year since Obama took office. Obama and his administration have no clue how to create jobs, run a business and make payroll or a budget.

    May 9, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Montana citizens certainly love the roads that all Americans paid for. I'm sure they like the clean water, indoor plumbing, etc., that are paid for by taxes.

    Want to live with NO taxes - move to somalia - they allow all the guns you want. No teachers, no police, no firemen, no doctors/nurses, no roads, no utilities - sounds like a perfect match. Stop on your way and pick up the hicks from the south that take more out of the system then complain about the same things.

    May 9, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. curious

    Rehberg reminds me of the republican candidates in the 2010 elections. They gladly take advantage of ignorance and racisim. It's not good to fool people.

    May 9, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    "I'm sure they like the clean water, indoor plumbing, etc., that are paid for by taxes."
    -----–
    I have well water and I paid for my own indoor plumbing when my house was built.

    May 9, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. cali girl

    Another ad that just smears the other guy. Spend the money on what you will do if you get into office.

    May 9, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Interesting that Obama, the sitting Democrat President and leader of the Democrat Party, appearing in an ad with a fellow Democrat is considered "negative". So the Democrats are now admitting that Obama is a negative for his party. Many of us have already known for years he was a negative for the country. It is nice to see the Democrat Party finally get in touch with reality.

    May 9, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |