A conservative group is promising that when he travels to Virginia Friday to campaign for Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, President Obama will be greeted by a new attack ad.
Obama is scheduled to arrive in Charlottesville to stump for the endangered freshman, who has supported many key points of the president’s agenda despite the highly conservative tilt of Perriello’s 5th District.
A group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition says it has timed a radio spot that speaks to directly Obama in an effort to further tie Perriello to the unpopular president.
“We don’t fault your loyalty to Tom Perriello,” the ad says. “He sure earned it carrying water for you and Nancy Pelosi.” The ad recounts Perriello’s votes for the Obama economic stimulus package, government-run health care, and cap-and-trade energy tax.
“We didn’t want any of these, but we got them anyway. Because Tom Perriello was working for you, not us,” says the ad. It notes President Obama will visit the University of Virginia, known as “Mr. Jefferson’s university,” and urges him to “check out Jefferson’s ideas about limited government, freedom and liberty.”
The ad closes with a suggestion that Obama “give [Perriello] a job after November 2, because he’s been working for you all along.”
The 36-year-old Perriello voted for the 2009 economic stimulus package, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He also supported healthcare reform and the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would have created the first national cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases, but failed to win support in the Senate.
Despite many Democratic positions, however, Perriello also is pro-gun and won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. This year his opponent is state lawmaker Robert Hurt. Perriello is running hard for a second term, this week holding 20 campaign events in a 24-hour period in an event known as “24 hours of Tom.”
The lawmaker came to office riding the 2008 Democratic wave, defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Virgil Goode by just 745 votes out of more than 300,000 cast. Larger than the state of New Jersey, Perriello’s sprawling 5th District is highly rural and conservative. James Madison was the first to hold the seat.
Republican presidential candidates George W. Bush and John McCain both carried the district in recent elections.
The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.