F-22 Vote Provides Fodder for Connecticut Senate Race

Posted July 22, 2009 at 6:04am

The Senate vote Tuesday to end production of F-22 fighter planes has generated a round of finger-pointing in Connecticut over who should have done more to save the program.

Republican Senate hopefuls Rob Simmons and Sam Caligiuri put out press releases attacking Sen. Christopher J. Dodd for failing to muster opposition to the amendment to the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill (S 1390). Dodd voted against the amendment, proposed by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., and backed by the White House, because it would cost Connecticut jobs — the state is home to the Pratt & Whitney, which builds the plane’s engines.

In a press release, Dodd said he “has raised serious concerns about shutting down the production of the F-22 Raptor since Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made the announcement earlier this year,” adding that the decision will “harm our economy and industrial capability,” and “place our national security at risk.”

Simmons and Caligiuri said such protestations were not enough, taking a shot at one of Dodd’s big selling points on the campaign trail — that the state would lose his invaluable Senate seniority and clout should it opt to replace him.