The criticism about primaries is allegations made by opponents of the same party can then be used in the general election by the other side.
It should come as no surprise, then, that in her second bid for U.S. Senate, self-funded Republican Linda McMahon has produced a flyer (the third from McMahon to hit my mailbox this week) which revives accusations from this summer’s Democratic primary.
Ex-Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz unsuccessfully sought to convince voters her opponent for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, was bought and paid for by Wall Street specifically and the financial services industry in general.
Yes the financial services industry, housed mainly in lower Fairfield County, plays a major role in Connecticut’s economy, but that doesn’t matter when you’re trying to be the populist candidate.
And Bysiewicz at one point got her facts wrong in an ad criticizing Murphy.
So who shows up in McMahon’s latest campaign brochure?
The McMahon campaign’s decision to recycle Bysiewicz’s attacks isn’t shocking. McMahon’s campaign staffers know that during tough economic times they must find a way to positively portray their candidate’s wealth and the fact she’s so far spent $64 million during her two bids for Senate while enjoying a low tax rate.
What better way to do that than tag Murphy, who is playing up his more modest lifestyle and has to raise campaign contributions to compete against McMahon, as the career politician beholden to special interests?
In the topsy-turvy world of politics, with Bysiewicz out of the running, suddenly the candidate whose family relaxed on a 47-foot yacht named “Sexy Bitch” wants to be the populist.
Agree or not that McMahon would make a good Senator, her campaign, strategy-wise, continues to run circles around Murphy, crafting a positive narrative about herself before he has a chance to define himself, let alone attack his opponent.
In an interview this afternoon Bysiewicz emphasized the flyer was produced without her permission and that, despite their differences during the primary campaign, she backs Murphy.
“I got one at my house,” Bysiewicz said of McMahon’s mailing. “I didn’t notice it. I put them in recycling. My husband happened to turn it over … Linda McMahon did not call me to say, ‘Hey, Susan, can I use your picture?’ I wouldn’t endorse her. I’m disappointed people got that flyer and think that would be the case when it isn’t.”
She continued, “Hey, Chris and I had a lively debate on the Wall Street issue. But I am supporting Chris over Linda because I know that he supports policies that are going to help the middle class, just as I do. … I’ve decided to support Chris and have been very, very clear since after the election and have been supporting Chris’ campaign and will be helping Chris and all the Democrats.”