That West Virginia GOP Senatorial candidate John Raese feels contempt for the people he wants to represent in Washington should come as no surprise. After all, he spends most of his time at his $2.9 million dollar estate in Palm Beach Florida. He's not the kind of guy who rubs elbows with working folks at the local diner to hear what voters really think. But that's OK because the NRSC has it covered.
The ad "Stop Obama," produced for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, features three men in plain clothes and trucker hats sitting at a diner, complaining about President Obama and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the state's Democratic Senate candidate... A casting call for the ad reads, "We are going for a 'Hicky' Blue Collar look. These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks."
Manchin released a statement this morning saying that Raese insulted the people of West Virginia and should immediately apologize.
"Not only have they been spending millions to try and buy this election with lies and distortions, we can now see once and for all what he and his friends really think of West Virginia and our people," he said. "It's offensive and it only proves that John Raese has spent too much time in the state of Florida, living in his Palm Beach mansion, and doesn't know, understand or respect the great people of this state, and what we stand for."
Raese was similarly criticized in a recent West Virginia News and Sentinel op-ed for showing "complete disregard for West Virginians' opinions," after the Republican candidate reportedly offered cash prizes to West Virginians who produced the most published letters to the editor about Raese.
I would embed the ad, but it's been removed from YouTube. According to the CBS News article the NRSC "are now looking for this ad to be taken out of rotation". So mission accomplished, I guess.
I am sure West Virginians cannot be pleased to be reduced to "coal miner/trucker" stereotypes. If the NRSC wanted to portray "real" West Virginians - teachers, small businesspeople, cops, etc - why did they choose to shoot this ad in Philadelphia PA? That to me is the real scandal of this news. An ad is not a cheap thing to shoot and could have helped the local economy a little. In these times, every little bit counts a lot.
This is an extremely tight race. A Fox News poll has Raese with a five point lead for the late Sen. Byrd's seat. Momentum seems to be on Joe Manchin's side, however, between this fiasco, the LTE scandal and Raese's residency problem. How about tossing Manchin a few bucks?