Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kicked off his general election campaign Thursday with a pair of feel-good TV ads about clean energy jobs he says he has brought to Nevada. His campaign manager said there is plenty of time in coming months to run negative TV ads about Sharron Angle, the Tea Party favorite who won the Republican nomination this week -- but he went right ahead and discussed her in negative terms at a news conference and call with reporters.
Republicans chose "the most extreme candidate they could have," the campaign manager, Brandon Hall, said of Angle. "Energy is one of the most important issues facing our country and Sharron Angle wants to abolish the Department of Energy," Hall said. He said she would have voted against the stimulus bill and solar tax credits that have brought thousands of jobs to Nevada, and that her call to "drill baby drill" would not create jobs in Nevada. He added her solution to the BP oil spill is less regulation of the oil industry.
Angle's Web site was taken down right after she won. A GOP strategist told Politics Daily it was going to be revamped and improved. The site is coming back up in increments. There's now an issues page
-- and it is as bland as possible given Angle's many well-documented and colorful positions
. For a start, it doesn't mention the Energy Department or getting rid of it.
Hall said any issue would have provided a stark contrast between Reid and Angle, but the campaign decided before Tuesday's primary to focus first on clean energy. He said Nevada has "limitless potential" in the area.
One Reid TV ad
features a man saying he didn't have a job for a few months but now is among 300 people working at a solar facility made possible by solar tax credits passed by Reid. "No one can do more," the tagline says. The other TV ad
is about stimulus money for job-creating geothermal energy projects. The idea is to showcase "Sen. Reid's record, what his leadership position means for Nevada, how that's creating jobs and making Nevada a better place to be," Hall said. He dismissed a claim by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that under Reid, Nevada has not received its fair share
of last year's $787-billion economic stimulus package. Anyone who says that is "willfully ignoring the facts," he said.
Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the stimulus package has failed to create jobs, and "the arrogance of this (solar) ad is remarkable." He said Republicans would, however, agree with the "no one can do more" campaign slogan "because no one in Washington has done more to grow the size of the federal government, done more to skyrocket our national debt, or done more to increase the tax burden on Nevada families than Harry Reid."