The Republicans are once again lowering the civility in the U.S. Senate race, launching television ads attacking each other in the final days of the primary:
Two of the three Republican senatorial candidates have launched the first TV attack ads of the campaign, after only "positive" ads that generally left each other alone.
Ed Bryant fired the first TV salvo Sunday with a new ad on Bob Corker's position change on abortion, which asks, "If we can't trust him on an issue like abortion, how can we trust Bob Corker on anything?"
Corker now opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is endangered -- a change from his position on the issue as an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 1994, a position he now calls "wrong."
Corker, the former Chattanooga mayor, responded Tuesday with a new TV ad charging that Bryant and Van Hilleary voted to raise their pay as members of Congress and were "registered lobbyists." The ad tells GOP primary voters: "The choice is yours -- ineffective career politicians or a successful businessman and mayor."
The Hilleary and Bryant camps said neither ever voted for a pay raise for themselves. They're both registered as lobbyists after leaving the House in 2003 after eight years.
Hilleary began airing his second TV spot Tuesday, emphasizing his experience as an Air Force C130 navigator in the first Gulf War and saying "only one Senate candidate has proven himself in combat and defended our military in Congress -- Van Hilleary."
Unlike the other campaigns, Corker's staff refused Tuesday to release scripts of its new ad, the documentation for its charges against his opponents and where the ad is running.
Hilleary spokeswoman Jennifer Coxe said Hilleary never voted for a pay raise for himself and was registered to lobby for a for-profit Nashville-based airport security screening company and two nonprofits, Americans to Cure Blindness and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Bryant spokesman Andrew Shulman said Bryant never voted a pay raise for himself and was a lobbyist for Memphis' Methodist Healthcare and Chattanooga-based Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Tennessee.
Bryant issued a statement saying, "Bob Corker's attacks are both hypocritical and revealing, in that if he were really as popular as he claims to be, he wouldn't declare war on the two candidates with proven conservative records."
The winner of the Aug. 3 GOP primary is expected to face U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a Democrat, in the General Election.
If the Republicans do not want to be called stooges; don't act like stooges.
There is no need for the continious attacks and negativity against each other and against Congressman Ford. Thus far in the race, Ford has not attacked his Republicans once--focusing only on the issues. That is the way it should be.
The more the Republicans attack, lie, and distort, the more Tennesseans tune them out. That is evident by the polls, fundraising, and grassroots support.
People are looking for a positive change--not more of the same.
A vote for Harold Ford Jr. is a vote for change.
More: Jay Bush attacks Corker for going negative. Has JB saw Ed's latest ad? The ad focuses only on Bob Corker and his stance on abortion.
I am not saying that Jay is being hypocritical--but he is being hypocritical.