Everyone’s buzzing about the Democrat food fight between Hillary and Obama. But the GOP political cafeteria’s getting splattered as well. Squirting ketchup at the heads of his first-tier rivals: Sam “Switchback” Brownback, who is still clinging to his doomed 2008 GOP presidential campaign. It’s painful to watch. In an attempt to create buzz and drum up money/votes before the Iowa straw poll, Switchback has shelled out for robocalls attacking GOP competitors Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo. The Trail reports:
Using a pair of “robocalls” targeting Republicans in Iowa, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback is attacking his rivals on abortion in the hopes of scoring an upset victory in the state’s straw poll a week from Saturday.
The automated phone calls have drawn condemnation from their targets — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo — and underscore the stakes for the handful of candidates who are competing in the contest. Sen. John McCain and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani are not participating.
Conservative doyenne Phyllis Schlafly is siding with Tancredo:
Tancredo has demanded an apology, saying he has a clear anti-abortion record dating back 30 years, to his days in Colorado’s state legislature. Now, he’s also being defended by Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, who gained national prominence in the 1970s by opposing the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women.
She called an Iowa radio program on Monday to call Brownback’s charges “ugly.” She has recorded messages for Iowa voters.
“I want to go on record as saying I’ve known Tom Tancredo for 30 years and I know for sure he has always been a champion of the right to life of the unborn,” Schlafly says in the calls.
I’ll take the stalwart Mrs. Schlafly over Sen. Switchback any day.
CBS calls the push calls a “bold move,” but…:
But the use of automated calling, and Brownback’s defense of the practice, also implies that Brownback knows Ames is his last stand — unless he does very well. Even an annoying tactic makes people remember who you are, and talking about it in the state’s largest newspaper even more so. But while Brownback is getting attention today, that could change as other Republican candidates make their own last-ditch efforts to score a straw poll victory. This contest, which once seemed like a lock for Romney, is now just a little harder to predict — and it has the GOP hopefuls ready to pounce on an opportunity.
One grass-roots, pro-life conservative calls Switchback’s tactics “not only despicable, but futile.”
Let’s hope the misery ends sooner rather than later. As I said, watching the slow-mo death of a rock-bottom presidential campaign is painful.