House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's campaign team is panning a new TV ad that his Democratic opponent is set to air this week amid Fox News' cable TV coverage of the Republican National Convention.
Cantor's team is ridiculing its assertion that Wayne Powell is a Republican's kind of Democrat.
"Maybe the reason voters are slamming the door on Wayne Powell is his strong support for Obamacare and his strident calls for higher taxes on job producing small businesses," said Cantor campaign strategist Ray Allen, in a statement.
The first-ever Powell TV ad declares: "Wayne Powell: a Democrat who just might be your kind of Republican," referring to the 61-year-old lawyer and retired Army colonel who in his first race for elected office is challenging the No. 2 House Republican.
The TV ad's aim is to attract Republican votes away from Cantor in Virginia's newly aligned and heavily GOP-leaning 7th Congressional District.
Powell is shown knocking on a front door of a home, and then explaining his position to a man who answers on issues such as reining in federal spending. The homeowner extends his hand and says, "Wayne, you're my kind of Republican." But when Powell tells him he is a Democrat, the man slams his door shut.
But a Cantor campaign aide pointed out that Powell's new TV ad actually comes after he has spent weeks trying to appeal to national "liberal" progressives and "the Rachel Maddow crowd," and that it should not be taken seriously.
Earlier in the day, Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, Powell's campaign strategist, said the selection of cable news channel Fox News was intentional: "Wayne is excited to address 7th District Republican and Independent viewers of the Convention, and there's no better place to reach them than Fox News." Saunders also suggested, in a statement, that Cantor's visibility is being kept limited during the GOP convention, saying "the reason Republicans aren't letting him address the convention."
Cantor's team confirmed that Cantor is not speaking at the convention, but offered no explanation.