Romanoff Goes Negative Against Bennet

Democrat Andrew Romanoff has officially crossed over into negative campaigning with his newest TV ad. The ad bashes Sen. Michael Bennet for taking money from banking and oil interests while trying to make the point that he has been corrupted by big money influences.

Romanoff has said for months that he was going to keep his campaign about issues and wouldn’t go negative against Bennet — a position we always thought was silly to take, given that there’s no way Romanoff was going to beat Bennet without going negative. But Romanoff does not have enough money for a significant TV buy; this ad may damage Bennet, but not enough so that Romanoff can ultimately overtake him in the primary.

The end result is that Romanoff looks more than a bit hypocritical in now going negative, but won’t likely gain enough of a foothold for it to be worth the strategic change. Romanoff is basically just throwing rocks at a windowless building at this point.


115 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Automaticftp says:

    So much for:

    Not going negative;

    Sticking to the issues;

    Never primary another Democrat;

    Believing he couldn’t win a statewide race;

    His belief in party unity.

    I’m sure I’ve missed some . . .  

  2. ClubTwitty says:

    when Andrew enters the scene is nice.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    yet one more Romanoff-Sucks-No-Bennet-Blows-Harder-Yes-He-Does-No-He-Doesn’t-cage-match forums.

    Pushing these hourly now?  God, I hope so, I just can’t get enough of this shit.

  4. Dan WillisDan Willis says:

    But I have to admit, this ad is likely to get him more votes than the previous one.

    This is something I loath about campaign advertising mentality in general: you can be positive and lose or negative and win.

    Again: I hate seeing this happen.

    • Ah Choo says:

      Andrew has been kicking out hyper-negative webads since the caucus. His staff and surrogates send out weekly nastygrams attacking Bennet’s character to their email list. His online supporters have alternated  cult of personality-level blindness towards Andrew’s special interest record with their mouth-frothing indignation at Bennet’s prodigious fundraising…not to mention outright lying over Bennet’s health care positions.

      Going the scorched earth route is the only logical conclusion of a campaign that has made self pity its core motivation from the very beginning.

      What else is left for this silly ass campaign except to blow their wad on negative TV, shaft its staff on pay, and go out “not with a bang but a whimper”?

  5. JeffcoTrueBlue says:

    OK guys, you criticize Romanoff saying he’s going to have to take Bennet on but when he does you follow Craig Hughes’ meme that Romanoff is going negative. What, by pointing out how Bennet voted and who he takes money from?  I’ve written before about how Bennet hides behind his spokesman who smears Romanoff at every chance while Bennet whines about “politics as usual.”

    So let me get this straight, a whisper campaign about Romanoff being single, calling him anti-immigrant, the godfather of Arizona’s law, running a push-poll with lies about Romanoff, pimping an article Bennet’s big brother’s pal Dana Milbank wrote and then Hughes calling Romanoff deceptive, irresponsible and disingenuous – that’s all taking the high road. But Romanoff having the spine to say what he has to say instead of hiding behind Trevor & Craig’s skirts and pointing out things like facts, that’s negative?

    Just so I understand – personal attacks made by surrogates while whining, that’s positive, stating the truth about votes and contributors, that’s negative?  Good to know the talking points from Camp Bennet, the SEIU & ProgressNow are coming through clearly.

    You don’t think the Republicans will hit Bennet with 10 times as much on this kind of thing, his DPS debacles and his corporate raiding for Anschutz? Who knows what other personal stuff they’ve dug up with a whole lot more resources to dig into other personal stuff and more of his background. If somehow Bennet were to win the primary, the Republicans will destroy him. Better to get rid of him now so there is a candidate who can attract independents and doesn’t have the personal & professional baggage Bennet does.

    • MADCO says:

      I know, you’re busy, it’s hard and blah blah blah.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      It’s a negative ad. It is what it is. You can’t seriously dispute that this is a negative ad?

      A negative ad is an ad that directly attacks your opponent. Whether or not an ad is factual doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not it is a “negative ad.”

      • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

        We’re not saying it’s wrong to run “negative ads.” We just think it was stupid for Romanoff to say that he wouldn’t go negative when he was always going to have to do it.

        • wade norris says:

          that is not based on the voting record or his campaign contributors.

          • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

            The definition of a negative ad:

            Negative campaigning, also known more colloquially as “mudslinging”, is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent or of a policy rather than emphasizing one’s own positive attributes or preferred policies.

            An ad doesn’t have to be false to be negative. You could run a completely positive ad that was full of made-up information.  

            • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

              Romanoff could run an ad that said, “9 out of 10 Colorado residents say that Andrew Romanoff is the greatest man who has ever walked the face of the earth.” That would not be considered a “negative ad” even though there is no truth to that statement. Once you start to say that your opponent is bad, you have gone negative.

            • Ralphie says:

              A whole subthread about semantics.

              I don’t care what you call it.  To me, a person who has been around this block before, it says everything it needs to about what Romanoff’s internal polls are showing.

              No need to run a scorched earth campaign if you’re winning.

              This ad has helped me make up my mind, provided that Bennet doesn’t do a similarly negative ad before I vote.

              • EmeraldKnight76 says:

                I had always wondered what the difference was between a negative & attack ad was. I think Romanoff should have used this money to stick to his promise of not going negative and instead explain what he would do for us as Senator. Not some abstract “I’m gonna take on Washington” bullshit that both are talking about. Is he going to introduce a public option amendment? Is he going to spearhead campaign finance reform legislation? Concrete promises the voters can hold him to if he gets elected.

                Romanoff supporters who think this isn’t a negative ad are fooling themselves. Positive ads talk about what you would do for your constituents. Negative are what your opponent isn’t doing. Attack ads are attacking your opponent for something completely unrelated to the office you’re running for. At least that’s how I understand it from the sub-thread.

                @Ralphie – I really hope Bennet is smart enough not to follow Romanoff’s lead on this. It would really shake my confidence in him as a leader. I haven’t voted yet and this is why. I tend to not vote until the last minute as you never know what could happen.

            • toobadsosad999 says:

              The definition of telling the truth ad:

              Telling the truth in a campaigning, also known more colloquially as “telling the truth about Michael Bennet”, is trying to win an advantage by referring to truthful aspects of an opponent or of a policy rather than emphasizing one’s own positive attributes or preferred policies.

          • BlueCat says:

            Well then Romanoff has been lying for months as well as going negative. Sorry Wade…negative, positive it doesn’t matter.  Your boy will soon not have to worry about his campaign one way or the other. Get used to it. I’m sure most of us Dems will just be happy to have this bitchfest over so we can thoroughly enjoy making fun of the candidates the GOP will come up with.  

            Got my ballot today and have heard nothing new on GOP finding way to dump McInnis and Maes. Norton or Buck suit me fine.  Looking forward to welcoming the 99% of Romanoff supporters who are sane and sensible over to the winning side. Hope that includes you, Wade.

      • toobadsosad999 says:

        You support Bennet and have from the beginning. You have never given Romanoff one shred of decent publicity.  Even the one or two positive posts for Romanoff are quickly moved off the front page.

        I find your management of this blog biased as do many others.

        • MADCO says:

          Why does that bother you?

          There are other blogs less favorable to Romanoff, others more favorable.  If that’s what floats your boat- stick with one that’s more favorable.

    • OuiserBoudreaux says:

      … Marc Holtzman, until now.

  6. TheDeminator says:

    Shame almost no one will see it with this small ad buy.  

  7. TheDeminator says:

    the mud slinging really hurts who comes out on top of this race.  Look at Norton and Buck, it is a battle royal and they are both getting beaten up.  

  8. caroman says:

    Career changer for Romanoff?  Yes.

    This ad is not going to change the primary results.  Most Dems seeing this ad are going to say, “Andrew who? And why is he such a whiner?”

    This just burns more bridges for Romanoff’s political future in Colorado.  

  9. jW says:

    But isn’t it worth discussing the actual content of the ad? Does it not worry all of you many Dems that Bennet is so far deep into the pockets of some of the same organizations you’ve been associating to names like “Bush” and “Cheney” for the last 10 years?

    We can all remember a time where “corporations were evil and were running the government”. Does it not concern any of you, long term, that Bennet will return the favor? He’s received $1.1 million in special interest money and is one of the top 10 recipients of campaign money from the oil and gas industry (see Fact Check video above).

    I’m not arguing for you to switch your vote to Romanoff, I’m just curious if this none of this bothers you?

    • Raf says:

      Yes, it bothers me. That said, it goes far beyond Michael Bennet. It’s a function of the system.

      If I had any confidence that supporting Romanoff would make a material change, I would do it. I know all his partisans are going to chime in with “but he said X, and he’s standing against Y”.

      I don’t care. From my vantage point, I’ve yet to see a cogent rationale, beyond political expediency, for Romanoff’s populist turn. Which is fine, and welcomed, but political expediency is hardly the rock on which you build a movement to change the system.

      • gaf says:

        How do you do change the influence of big money in politics by taking big money from corporate interests and lobbyists?

          • Raf says:

            You blew right past my point.

            Romanoff’s been the one pounding the drum on PAC donations, corporate interests & lobbyists. It’s an integral part of his campaign.

            That said, he had no problem taking those donations when he was up for election and re-election. Had he been appointed to the Senate, he would’ve taken the same donations that Bennet took, just as he would’ve likely voted the same way Bennet voted. What’s more, should he win the primary, I suspect that he’ll have no problem taking those donations going forward.

            That’s not a slam on Romanoff; it’s a projection of how he would behave based on his past record. Would he make a great senator? Sure; I just don’t think he’ll be a particularly liberal or progressive one. Frankly, if he wins, I suspect he’d be a more eloquent version of Ken Salazar. Not that that’s a bad thing, but let’s don’t imagine that he’s the second coming of Ted Kennedy.

            That’s why I don’t believe the system will be changed if Romanoff wins the primary.

            • toobadsosad999 says:

              But the message it will send to Washington is that if you screw the middleclass like Bennet has (with his votes on cram-down and the Brown/Kaufman amendment)and you overtly represent the interests of big banks and Wall Street like Bennet has you will be let go.  

              But don’t cry for Bennet he’ll have a job in no time.  

              • Raf says:

                You’re assuming that “Washington” is a monolithic entity, which it’s not. Beyond that, if Bennet loses, the message that you’re hoping will be sent won’t be; no matter what you may think, Bennet isn’t seen as a handmaiden of Wall Street in DC.  

                • toobadsosad999 says:

                  And MA will send another one in November. These are extraordinary times; many are out of work and view Bennet as an accomplice in getting us to this place.  Remember the derivative deal at DPS that is costing DPS millions while enriching the banks?

                  • Raf says:

                    1. It was a special election;

                    2. More importantly, it was a special election to replace Ted Kennedy.

                    The fact that Scott Brown won as a Republican in Massachusetts, first of all, and Ted Kennedy’s seat, to boot, was rightly seen as a politically significant event.

                    This one would have a different spin. If Bennet loses, it’ll be seen, essentially, as a repudiation of President Obama by his party. Why? Because Obama has endorsed Bennet, and Bennet is seen as an Obama protegГ©.

                    Now, you can make the argument that Obama shouldn’t have gotten involved in the primary to begin with, which is fine. Certainly, others have.

                    If you make that argument, though, then you forfeit the right to argue that Obama should get “tough” on other Senators, like Nelson or Lincoln or Landrieu, since one of the few tools that Obama has to force compliance is to participate in primaries.

    • MADCO says:

      For example- look around Colorado.

      Significant oil & gas industry. And they donate to the Senator.

      Shocking? not.

      The rest is all supposed to make us think that he got a significant donation from donor X, then he voted yes, which is what donor X wanted.  So therefore he must be corrupt, bought and paid for by his donors.

      As opposed to – he received a significant donation from numerous donors, then he voted, sometimes the way one or another donors wanted, sometimes exactly what one or another donor did not  want.  But consistent with his values.

      The way you leap, or at least the way Campanoff would have us leap, is only consistent if we say Romanoff was corrupt before, but only now has potentially cleaned up.  See- once upon a time AR had a PAC of his own, received PAC donations, and voted (gasp!) sometimes the way those donors wanted him to.

      • Rainidog says:

        Have been thinking exactly that, MADCO, and am going to the new thread to ask Wade Norris just that question.

        If anyone who takes PAC money is corrupt, then does that mean Romanoff was corrupt for all those years when he was doing just that?  But now he is corrupt no more?  Is Bill Ritter corrupt?  Pres. Barack Obama?  Rep. Markey?

        I want to hear just one Romanoff supporter be honest and brave enough to say what they believe.  All the people I just named are corrupt, and so was Andrew Romanoff–for 10 long years.

    • EmeraldKnight76 says:

      I think this bullshit meme that “money corrupts” has never been proven. You’re either a corrupt politician who takes money as part of that corruption or you’re not. There are and have always been millionaires and even billionaires that I would hardly call corrupt, ie Bill Gates who have given millions to charity.

      How can Romanoff supporters criticize Bennet as coming from money and being handed everything because of his family’s money, then say the paltry amounts (by comparison) these various groups are donating make a damn bit of difference to him? When you’ve got millions, a few thousand isn’t gonna buy you off.

      So am I worried about corporations “buying off” a Senator? Only if those Senators have no backbone. Bennet has shown me he possess plenty of backbone since being appointed Senator.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        And a reliable corporate vote on amendments. I don’t see how that signifies backbone. I’m not saying it’s bad – that combo is what the Democratic party needs. But it’s not a sign of backbone.

        • MADCO says:

          Yes- we didn’t get KB, or cramdown, nor the Sanders amendment on credit cards last May getting allth e attention now. And hundreds or even thousands of others.   In the rare cases where Bennet could have been the deciding vote, he’s voted more pro-consumer than pro corp.

  10. OuiserBoudreaux says:

    Finally, AR recognizes that winning at all costs is what counts……well, that, and losing at great cost.  Even at the cost of the Dems keeping this Senate seat.  Thanks, Andrew, for showing us how it’s done!

  11. HoyaDem says:

    Am I the only one who, when AR says we need a “Senator for the rest of us,” all I seem to hear in my mind is “Festivus for the rest of us?”  Not sure AR wants to mentally equate his 20-days-out campaign slogan with a fictitious cultish holiday from television…

  12. marklane1351 says:

    Senator Bennet takes PAC money.  Get over it already!  He has never pretended that he doesn’t take PAC money.  Andrew Romanoff shut down his PAC and stopped taking PAC money so that he could run as the only person who does not take PAC money.  To put it bluntly, the difference between these two is that Romanoff is a hypocrit.

    • jpsandscl says:

      hypocrites too? I mean they lived lives of debauchery in many cases before being saved. Does that make their conversion any less real?

      Even if he had PACs before, can he not have come into the light and seen the truth, that big corporate money does rig our system to the detriment of all of us? Are all of you actually arguing in favor of the Citizens United decision then? Really?

      • Raf says:

        But Romanoff’s never provided anyone with a cogent accounting of why and how he came to that conclusion. That’s the problem.

        Failing that, all I can come up with is that he’s doing it out of political expediency. Which again, that’s fine as it goes, but it’s hardly a bulwark. If he found it politically expedient to turn down donations he wasn’t going to get, then he’ll find it equally expedient to take those donations once they’re on parade.

        I suspect that the people screaming about this the loudest will be curiously silent when that happens. Either that, or they’ll be screaming about betrayal.

      • EmeraldKnight76 says:

        misleading and disingenuous argument to make. Again I point out that there are many many different types of PACs out there. If you can think of the type of group, there’s probably a PAC associated with it. Not to mention the personal PACs, like the one Romanoff himself had.

        You threw out Citizens United to get a gut reaction instead of making a better argument. Somehow I doubt NARAL’s PAC & Planned Parenthood Action Fund & Human Rights Campaign’s PAC, etc. are a threat to our democracy. I doubt those PACs and many more are corrupting Senators. And I doubt they had much if anything to do with threat of Citizens United.

      • shrubHugger says:

        Just sayin’  

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