Updated: 5:03 p.m.
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) launched the first TV ad Tuesday in his bid to become Indiana’s next Senator, and the 30-second spot simultaneously shows his sympathy for struggling workers and jabs his Republican opponent. The ad also highlights his 25-year law enforcement career while soft-pedaling his four years on Capitol Hill and his party affiliation.
Ellsworth, wearing jeans and a gray shirt, appears to be in an abandoned factory as he addresses the camera.
“One thing that 25 years as a sheriff teaches you is zero tolerance for bull,” Ellsworth, the former sheriff of Vanderburgh County, opens. He goes on to blast Washington, D.C., insiders, who, he says, “waste our money, take care of special interests, and they don’t care if lobbyists write our laws or if our jobs get shipped overseas.”
Ellsworth ends the spot by vowing to fight for good jobs because “the special interests and lobbyists already have enough Senators on their side.” That’s a none-too-subtle jab at his Republican opponent, former Sen. Dan Coats, who spent some time as a lobbyist after leaving Capitol Hill.
Coats and Ellsworth are in a close contest to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D).
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh responded to the ad on Tuesday afternoon calling it both hypocritical and insulting to Indiana voters.
“Brad Ellsworth is right: voters have zero tolerance for bull.’ But unfortunately, bull’ is exactly what Ellsworth is offering,” Walsh said. “The fact remains that Congressman Ellsworth stood with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama and rubberstamped their reckless spending agenda in Washington. … When Hoosiers cast their ballots this November, no amount of misleading campaign commercials will help Congressman Ellsworth run from his big-spending, big-government record in Washington.”