Rob Portman’s re-election campaign is renewing attacks on Democratic candidate Ted Strickland’s foreign policy, accusing in a new Web ad that the former Ohio governor’s position on international issues enables ISIS and Iran.
The ad is part of a series of online spots targeting Strickland’s foreign policy, an issue Republicans are confident will give them an edge in the general election. A Portman official, who declined to elaborate how much the campaign is spending on the series but said it was worth at least $100,000, says the buy will run until it reaches 1 million views.
The ad starts with a clip of Strickland saying that he plans to give a major foreign policy address outlining his worldview soon. It then links him to President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose policies, the ad says, “have made America weaker and ISIS stronger.”
It then checks off a list of criticisms of the Democratic candidate, including his support for the Iranian nuclear deal.
“We can’t trust Ted Strickland’s bad judgment,” the ad’s narrator says.
Strickland, who narrowly lost his gubernatorial re-election campaign in 2010, is considered one of the Democratic Party’s best Senate recruits of the cycle, and many polls show him running slightly ahead of Portman. The race is expected to be one of the most competitive this year.
Strickland must still win the state's March 15 Democratic primary, where his main competition is Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, before facing Portman in November. He is the primary's heavy favorite.
In a statement, the Strickland campaign responded by arguing that Portman is "the last person who should be offering foreign policy advice."
"He undermined America’s national defense by unilaterally negotiating with the Ayatollah of Iran, he bragged that the rise of the terrorist organization ISIS would help his polling numbers, and he despicably used images of our fallen American heroes in a cheap political ad," said Strickland campaign spokesman David Bergstein. "When it comes to our national security, Senator Portman’s rampant political self-interest is a danger to our country.”
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