[Shot of Johnson ad on a television--Murphy turns off ad with remote]
I’m Chris Murphy, and I approved this message because attack ads like this are why I’m running for Congress.
Nancy Johnson’s misleading ad against me proves she’s been in Washington too long.
I’m running not only to change Congress, but to change what people expect from politics.
That’s why I’m doing things differently, going door to door, listening to people.
You’ll be hearing more from me soon.
Until then, you might just want to keep this handy. [Holds up remote]
Murphy also disputed the charges made in the Johnson ad. For example, the Johnson ad claims that Murphy raised taxes $3 billion, but the Murphy campaign said that, according to the Office of Fiscal Analysis, the overall tax burden has decreased by $300 million since Murphy took office eight years ago.
The Murphy campaign also says that "the federal tax burden on Connecticut families has increased from 21.6% when Johnson took office in 1983 to 24.6% in 2006."
However, this information (and other rebuttals to Johnson's attacks) were not included in Murphy's ad--but only in a press release.
Johnson's ad is pretty vicious, is an obvious attempt to define Murphy before the campaign really gets started--and is probably a response to some recent (albeit biased) polls showing Murphy in the lead. Murphy's response, while a nice effort to change the tone, is rather weak by comparison because it addresses none of the charges leveled against him. Dave Boomer, Nancy Johnson's campaign manager pointed this out in the Hartford Courant this morning:
About Murphy's "little fluff ad," Boomer said that the Democrat "is trying to answer [our ad] by avoiding answering it."
"If I had his record on taxes, I wouldn't want to talk about it either," Boomer said. (Cohen)
However, the fact that the ad wars are beginning already in the 5th District is just one more indication that this is going to be a close, tough race.
Cohen, Jeffrey. "Sparks Fly In Race To Sway." Hartford Courant 27 July, 2006.