Thursday, April 22, 2010
Things are getting tense in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The campaign of U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired admiral challenging Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary, accused the incumbent Wednesday of "Swift Boat" tactics over an ad that implies the Navy fired him.In Democratic political circles, being accused of swiftboating is about as bad as it gets. Specter has a big war chest, and it is interesting that he has gone this negative this quickly. Specter is a survivor, but for him to be a U.S. Senator this time next year, he will have used up all nine lives.
It was an escalation of the battle between the candidates one day after Sestak began statewide TV ads focusing on his biography and Specter responded by ripping the challenger's service record with another commercial.
"Joe Sestak, relieved of duty in the Navy for creating a poor command climate," a narrator says in the ad, referring to morale among Sestak's subordinates. The spot, which began running Tuesday, also smacks Sestak for missing 127 votes in the House last year.
Sestak's campaign sought to rally veterans to defend him by recalling how the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth tried to discredit Democrat John Kerry's service in a Navy patrol vessel in Vietnam during Kerry's 2004 presidential race against George W. Bush.