Senate ads trade barbs on defense


jbrammer@herald-leader.comFebruary 27, 2010 

FRANKFORT — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul has a new TV ad that alleges his chief rival, Trey Grayson, is aligned with President Barack Obama and "draft-dodger Bill Clinton" on national defense.

The Paul ad comes on the heels of a TV ad by Secretary of State Grayson that tries to paint Paul as weak on national defense. Paul's campaign said the ad will run in coming days on cable and broadcast stations.

It begins with an announcer saying, "Career politician Trey Grayson is attacking Rand Paul again."

With scenes of Paul talking to veterans, an announcer says, "The son of a veteran, Rand Paul believes a strong national defense is the most important responsibility of our government."

It goes on to say Grayson "admitted to voting for draft-dodger Bill Clinton."

The allegation refers to a July 2009 article in the Lexington Herald-Leader in which Grayson said he voted for Clinton for president in 1992, when he cast his first presidential ballot.

The newspaper reported that Grayson told students and community leaders at the University of Kentucky in September 2008 that he first registered as a Democrat but changed to a Republican when he realized that he agreed more often with the GOP on issues.

Nate Hodson, campaign manager for Grayson, replied to the ad by asking whom Paul, son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, voted for in the 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.

"Kentuckians deserve to know who Rand Paul voted for in the 1988 presidential campaign, when he was the top aide for Ron Paul's pro-choice, anti-Reagan campaign for president," Hodson said.

"Or, who he voted for in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, when he campaigned across the country for his dad's shut-down-Gitmo, legalize-marijuana, cut-and-run-in-Iraq-and-Afghanistan, blame-America-for-9/11 campaign for president."

Paul said in a statement that he supported his father when Ron Paul ran for president.

"It's hard for me to imagine anyone not voting for his own father," Rand Paul said. "Trey must have different family values than I do if he's questioning me voting for my dad."

Paul also said that he doesn't agree with his father on every issue.

Paul's new TV ad continues by telling viewers to "listen to what Grayson said about Barack Obama."

The Paul campaign again used part of a statement that Grayson made on Obama's Inauguration Day, saying he looked forward as secretary of state and a citizen to "working with" the new president.

"Dangerous allies," the Paul ad says.

In Grayson's latest ad, which began airing Thursday in areas near Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Grayson says that Paul "opposes the war in Iraq" and "doubts whether Afghanistan is still a threat."

The ad includes video of Paul speaking in 2008 during a Tennessee rally for his father's failed presidential bid. "Unless you cut some of what we're doing militarily, you cannot balance the budget," Paul says in the video.

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