A Republican U.S. Senate candidate challenging endorsed GOP candidate Kurt Bills is running a cable television ad that pins Bills with some of the most extreme things said about libertarian Republican Ron Paul, whom Bills supports.
The ad is the first aired in the U.S. Senate race that features popular Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's quest for re-election. Neither Klobuchar nor Bills have run any television ads yet.
The ad from Republican primary candidate David Carlson will not have a wide viewing. Carlson said he spent a few thousand dollars to run it in the western and southwestern suburbs. But it could make a mark on Bills, who has struggled in his quest to unseat Klobuchar. Bills campaign manager said the ad was "dishonest."
"I am David Carlson and I approved this message because you have the right to know," Carlson says in the ad as a photo of him with presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney appears on screen.
A female narrator then takes over: "What would America have looked like if we had President Paul and Senator Bills?"
The ad hypothesizes that Paul's idea of "State's Rights first" would mean there would be no civil war to free the slaves, women and minorities would have no right to vote, schools would not be integrated and African-American veterans could be forced to leave restaurants. It also lifts a former Paul staffer's claim that Paul said "saving the Jews was none of our business" in World War II and claims Paul said civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pedophile.
Those accusations about Paul have long rattled in political circles. Paul has been a staunch advocate for state's rights and has said he would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A 1990 newsletter went out under his name accusing King of being a "world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys," although when he was running for president he disavowed those newsletters.
Bills, a freshman state representative, has publicly avowed none of the things that Carlson accuses Paul of believing and has distanced himself from some of Paul's beliefs previously.
Asked for a response to the ad Mike Osskopp, Bills' campaign manager said only: "The ad is disappointing and dishonest."