The 32-second spot casts Cantor as too busy with special interest groups to take calls from frustrated citizens. "Cantor clearly works for them, not us," says the narrator. At the end of the ad, Powell speaks into the camera and says, "I will answer your calls, and it won't cost you a dime."
The ad, which is running district-wide on broadcast stations and will also appear on MSNBC and Fox News, is part of a $120,000 buy that includes other commercials that will run through election day, said Powell campaign strategist David "Mudcat" Saunders.
Cantor's campaign is criticizing Powell for running personal attacks.
Ray Allen, senior strategist for Cantor, said in a statement that "Powell had an opportunity in his first major television buy to tell the voters of the 7th congressional district who he is, and what he hopes to accomplish representing them. Instead, he chose to launch negative, personal attacks against Congressman Cantor that are just not true."
This latest Powell ad comes after one that coincided with the Republican National Convention that depicted the Army veteran as a "Republican's kind of Democrat." A key for Powell, and something to watch for in tonight's debate, will be questioning Cantor's credentials on fiscal conservatism, Saunders said.
"The most important thing is to debunk the great lie that Eric Cantor is some kind of fiscal conservative," he said.
Despite the advertising blitz, Powell is running an uphill race against Cantor. Powell raised nearly $260,000 to Cantor's almost $6.3 million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and Powell met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel only two times, coming away without any promises of funding, National Journal reported earlier this year.
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