Already an attack ad in Nebraska Senate race
March 2nd, 2012
11:04 AM ET
11 years ago

Already an attack ad in Nebraska Senate race

(CNN) – Two days after Democrat Bob Kerrey announced his intention to run for Senate in Nebraska, Republican candidate Jon Bruning released his first ad attacking the former senator.

The spot, which will begin airing statewide Friday, attempts to paint Kerrey as a moderate "New York liberal," in contrast to the "conservative" Bruning.

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"Kerrey says 'Obamacare' didn't go far enough. Bruning is leading the fight to overturn it," the narrator says. "Kerrey voted for billions in earmarks. Bruning says eliminate earmarks and cut spending."

Bruning, the state's attorney general who will compete in the Republican primary, was seen as the frontrunner to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson prior to Kerrey's announcement Wednesday.

Kerrey, a former four-term governor who served as a Nebraska senator for over a decade, said Wednesday his decision against a bid in December was "not the right one" and reaffirmed his commitment to the Cornhusker State.

Since leaving the upper chamber of Congress, Kerrey has lived in New York City while serving as a college administrator.

In response to the 30-second commercial, the Kerrey campaign pushed back against attempts to paint his recent time in New York in a negative light.

"People leave their home states for a job … when people come back we think it's a good thing," campaign manager Paul Johnson told CNN, adding the criticism is "insulting to Nebraskans."

Johnson also said the "false" ad is an attempt to paint the election as a two-man race, despite the impending Republican primary.

"Bob's a fiscal conservative," Johnson told CNN. "It's one of the main reasons he's running because of the debt and deficit we face as a nation."

Non-partisan political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg list the contest as "likely Republican" and "Republican favored" respectively.

News of the ad was first reported by POLITICO.

Filed under: 2012 • Bob Kerrey • Congress • Nebraska • Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Using the term 'conservative' is akin to a vile four letter word.

    March 2, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. PaOutOfWork

    There is an easier way to frame the 2012 election for candidates,
    If you’re a Democrat, you’re for Debt and Depression.
    If you the Republican, you’re for Jobs and Prosperity.

    March 2, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Earmarks were created for a good reason. It gives the federal government the authority to tell states how federal funds must be used. Without them, states could do whatever they wanted with federal funds. The problem with earmarks isn't the earmarks themselves. The problem is the past abuse of earmarks, which has actually died down now that earmarks records are kept and publicly disclosed.

    March 2, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Jrdz

    Wow let the Tea Party Begin???

    March 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Since leaving the upper chamber of Congress, Kerrey has lived in New York City while serving as a college administrator.
    So Kerrey hasn't set foot in Nebraska for 10-12 YEARS?!! CARPETBAGGER ALERT!!
    But not to worry because New York and Nebraska are sooo similar. BWAHAHAHA!!

    Talk about the Democrats throwing a desperate Hail Mary pass! Oh yeah, they don't like religion and politics. Let's call it a Hail Obama pass instead!

    March 2, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. judy

    of course the repos are on the attack they offer no solid plans just bash the other guy. If they are so nasty to their own why would the treat a democrat any better. Vote Kerrey and lets git rid of the crazy unpatriotic clowns. Move forward not back

    March 2, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Not only is he a New Yourk liberal, he's a retread from the ash heap. So much for new blood, eh dems?

    March 2, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Ray E. (Georgia)

    We need Fiscal Responsibility in the Government, not more bloated spending. Obama Care need to go, right out the door. People can take care of themselves. That's what they were doing before all the big Social Programs were put in place.

    March 2, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Terry

    Hey Jon, was this ad paid for by NelNet, like your lakeside vacation house? Why don't you tell us about the deal you had struck with your buddies from NelNet about the settlement several years back before you were threatened to be exposed?

    March 2, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Greg

    Oh no, painting someone as a moderate?!!!! That's what we need, not some right wing extremist like Bruning.

    March 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. SAGG

    Wow. Seems like this Bruning guy's already running scared. Kerry hasn't even competed in his party's primaries yet.

    March 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Debbie

    What I want to know is: will either Jon Bruning or Bob Kerrey sign the Norquist pledge? I ask because while I am fiscally conservative I believe the Norquist pledge is revoking the Oath to the US Constitution and making pledges to one man. I see signing any pledge to one man over our US Constititution as very very dangerous. Wwill either Jon Bruning or Bob Kerrey sign the Norquist pledge?

    March 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Born and bred in Omaha

    Nebraska could use some "New York" liberalism . . .

    March 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |

    I'd vote for a war hero before I vote for a nobody. And calling him a New York liberal just invigorates me more to support Mr. Kerrey since I happen to be a New York liberal.

    March 2, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    How OLD is Kerrey anyways??? He looks like he's ready to keel over. Must be all that clean fresh NY air! And how long was this clown there last time? How many trillions in debt did he help heap on the backs of our kids and grand kids.

    Forget it Nebraska... The Democrats are now raiding the cemeteries to resurrect their dead and bankrupt ideas. You don't want this NY liberal to go to Washington and seal the deal on USA banlkruptcy.

    March 2, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Dennis1020

    Time for Bruning to reveal his patriotic bona fides and tell us what branch of the service he was in and in what war he served. I know he won't measure up to Bob Kerry–very few would–but it would still be revealing of Bruning's character.

    March 2, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. he said what

    Bruning is an embarrassment to us Nebraskans. He has spent his whole time in office running for the Senate.. he has made decisions based on politics and not law. Bob Kerry has done more for the state of Nebraska then Bruning could ever hope to.. and that is nothing compared to what he sacrificed for our country.

    And to PaOutofWork.. the only jobs and prosperity that republicans have to offer is to the people of India and China... maybe you can move there and get a job.

    March 2, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Doug

    I am from Nebraska – I remember Bob Kerry as a very good and efficient governor. His time in the Senate was spent doing what was right for Nebraska. The best thing about Kerry is his first allegiance was NOT to then President Clinton or the Democratic party – but to his conscious and his state.
    How different than the current group of Repubs who every morning get up – bow down – and pray to their "god" – Rush Limbaugh................................

    March 2, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |