CT-Sen: Rob Simmons (R) Pounces
by Todd Beeton, Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 04:30:42 PM EDT
This week, the rightwing media slime machine has been on overdrive tarring Chris Dodd with the AIG bonus fiasco. Their goals are (at least) twofold: to tie Dodd and Democrats at large to Wall St. and to ultimately defeat Chris Dodd in his bid for re-election next year. So it is hardly surprising to finally see Dodd's Republican opponent, former Congressman Rob Simmons, pounce on not entirely honest coverage of Dodd's role in watering down his own amendment to the stimulus package.
Simmons, who is running against Dodd, is now speaking out.
Daniela Altimari of The Hartford Courant is reporting the following:
"He says one thing one day, one thing another day,'' Simmons said.
"Where's the transparency in all of this? People have lost their savings, they've lost their jobs. There's no leadership...I can't believe the chairman of a committee can take a bill to the floor and speak in favor of it and vote on it without knowing what's in it. The issue of executive compensation is obviously an important issue...you would think someone's reading the language of the bill.''
Simmons said he was particularly troubled by Dodd's assertion that much of the detailed work on the bill was done on the staff level. Simmons served as a Senate staffer for six year, working for former Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona, and former Sen. John H. Chafee, R-Rhode Island and "never once were they so disengaged with important issues that they let the staff do it all.''
"The chairman has responsibility for the bill. You can't slough it off to the staff,'' Simmons said.
Simmons is all over the place message-wise here and I think at some point Republicans are going to learn that campaigning against the stimulus package will not work but Simmons is on firmer political ground -- although on weak factual ground -- by focusing on the claim that Dodd is a flip flopper. That's the story local media is telling. This plus his Countrywide problem spells a really tough fight ahead for Dodd, although the good news is there's plenty of time for this to turn around.
Still, it's not insignificant that in a Quinnipiac poll released last week this race was already tied up.
Keep in mind Simmons was a congressman, not even known statewide; add to this that Dodd is under 50% for both his job approval rating (49-44) and favorability (46-45;) plus the fact that this poll was released before the whole AIG thing blew up and you have a textbook example of a vulnerable incumbent. Dodd's gonna need us to have his back.