ATLANTA -- Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said he will aggressively attack the legislative voting record of Jim Martin, the former state lawmaker who won yesterday’s Democratic Senate runoff.
“The good thing for me about Jim Martin winning the runoff is that he’s got a voting record,” Chambliss said in a press conference this morning at his campaign headquarters. “I think that voting record, it will be borne out, is out of touch with the way a majority of Georgians think.”
For his part, Martin said Chambliss will have to run on his votes in favor of Bush administration proposals.
“Saxby’s going to have to spend a lot of his money explaining why he’s been in support of so many of the failed policies of the last eight years,” Martin said last night.
Chambliss has raised more than $4 million for his campaign while Martin has so far raised less than a fourth of that amount. But the senator predicted that out-of-state Democrats would pump money into Martin’s effort to defeat him.
Chambliss came to office, many say, by attacking another Democrat’s voting record. His campaign in 2002 aired television ads aimed at incumbent Max Cleland that included an image of Osama bin Laden while an announcer listed Cleland’s vote against an administration bill to prevent airport screeners from becoming unionized.
Democratic loyalists say Chambliss was questioning the patriotism of Cleland, who lost three limbs in a grenade explosion during the Vietnam War, in which Chambliss didn’t serve. Martin, like Cleland, is a Vietnam veteran.
Asked today whether the Cleland ad would be a model for his attacks on Martin, Chambliss said he wouldn’t hesitate to take on the new nominee.
“If we had not won, you wouldn’t have heard word one about any ad we ran,” Chambliss said. “... We will do it again in a way that is professional and in a way that we think that needs to be done to point out the weaknesses and the contradictions in my opponent’s statements and positions now and how he may have voted in the past.”