Ex-senator Domenici on attack for Wilson, says 20,000 jobs in peril
"I've got pretty thick skin," Heinrich, right, said in an interview.
Hours later, Wilson's mentor, former senator Pete Domenici, below, was appearing in a TV ad, making a vague claim that Heinrich had cast a vote which could cost 20,000 defense-related jobs in New Mexico.
The supposed backup for Domenici's fearsome message was in fine print at the bottom of the screen. All it said was Albuquerque Journal, 9-18-12.
This is Oct. 11, three weeks after the supposed bombshell in Washington. What, was the Pony Express entrusted to get out the message?
Wilson's ad, with Domenici providing the narration and, she hopes, believability, raises two critical questions:
1. Why would Heinrich want to kill jobs at New Mexico labs?
2. If Heinrich is on this self-destructive path, why did it take the Wilson-Domenici braintrust three weeks to pipe up?
Heinrich's camp fired back at Wilson's ad with one paragraph:
Heather Wilson’s accusations against Martin Heinrich are getting more desperate, but they’re still not true. The idea that Martin would vote to cut 20,000 jobs in New Mexico is ridiculous, and Congresswoman Wilson knows that. Martin has consistently fought against cuts to our military bases and national labs — like the cuts that the Ryan budget, which Heather Wilson has said she “admires,” would have imposed on our labs.
Wilson obviously hopes that Domenici, the elder statesman of New Mexico's Republican Party, still has a fan base.
But she will be alone on stage this evening, and she will have to try to persuade an intelligent audience of voters that only she cares about jobs and prosperity at the state's labs.
The bad part of campaigns is that they always lead to simplistic, partisan claims, rather than thoughtful discussion about the best way to solve problems. Debates typically are no cure, just more stabs at sound bytes.
That is the case in this situation. Domenici, without saying so, was referring to a vote Heinrich made on what the bureaucrats call "sequestration," a system of budget cuts.
Heinrich said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cast the same vote that he did. The topic came up because McCain last month came to Albuquerque to campaign for Wilson and to tout her expertise on military matters.