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Kerrey says Crossroads’ ads are hypocritical

By   /   May 21, 2012  /   News  /   16 Comments

Bob Kerrey’s campaign is criticizing Karl Rove’s super PAC TV ad for being hypocritical.

The Republican super PAC called Crossroads GPS is airing ads attacking Kerrey for serving on the board of an insurance company called Genworth Financial at the time the company tried to get bailout money through the Trouble Assets Relief Program, or TARP.

As first reported by Nebraska Watchdog last month, Genworth considered buying struggling banks as a way to get bailout money. Kerrey was on Genworth’s board of directors from 2004 until March, when he stepped down to make a run for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska.

The Kerrey campaign noted today that former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, an adviser to American Crossroads, “must have forgotten” that his boss, President George W. Bush, signed the bailout program into law.

The Kerrey campaign said “many other companies” also considered their options through the federal bailout program.

“If Rove had a problem with this, he should have convinced his boss, President Bush, not to sign the legislation establishing TARP in the first place,” said Paul Johnson, Kerrey’s campaign manager, in a press release. “Rove is hypocritical at best and devious at worst.”

It should be noted, however, that Rove left the Bush White House in 2007 and the TARP legislation was signed in 2008.

The Kerrey campaign notes that many contributors to the Crossroads PAC accepted TARP money, such as JP Morgan Chase, which received $25 billion, and Morgan Stanley, which took $10 billion.

The Kerrey campaign also took a swipe at its opponent, Republican state Sen. Deb Fischer, who benefitted from $250,000 in TV ads by a conservative super PAC the weekend before the primary election. The Kerrey camp said it’s ironic that Fischer’s victory “was paid for by a Wall Street broker,” Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. Ricketts bankrolls the super PAC called Ending Spending, which bought a wave of tough ads attacking Republican Jon Bruning’s ethics while buying other ads touting Fischer.

“State Senator Deb Fischer owes everything to Wall Street,” Johnson said in a press release. “Joe Ricketts bought her the primary victory with Wall Street cash. Now he and all of his wealthy Wall Street friends will expect something in return. If Fischer goes to Washington, she won’t be serving Main Street.”

Kerrey also implied in his primary night speech that Ricketts was trying to buy access with Fischer.

However, in its first public statement on the issue, the Fischer campaign responded by saying it had no involvement or responsibility for Ending Spending’s actions, or any other third party group. Fischer’s campaign manager, Aaron Trost, said Fischer won because she ran a grassroots campaign and talked about important issues like balancing the budget and repealing President Obama’s health care overhaul.

And while much of the national press’s take on Fischer’s win has been that Ricketts’ ads won the election, Trost noted that a week before the primary – and before a single Ending Spending ad had dropped or major endorsement was announced – internal polling showed Fischer down by 4 points, in a statistical dead heat with Bruning.

“It’s rich that multimillionaire Bob Kerrey would have the audacity to make such a claim,” Trost said. “If anyone in this race is an expert on Wall Street, it would be the candidate that lived there for the last decade.”

In other campaign news, Kerrey announced today that he has accepted an invitation to debate Fischer on June 5 at the American Legion Cornhusker Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Cornhusker Girls State at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He said he hopes Fischer will also accept the invitation to that and “many more debates.”

However, Trost said the Fischer campaign just received an invitation to the debate today and will not be able to attend that one.

"We promise Mr. Kerrey that there will be ample opportunity for him to

explain the role he played in a company that received TARP funds and

discuss the lavish compensation he received while running the New

School in New York City," Trost said.

Reported by Deena Winter, [email protected]

By: TwitterButtons.com

Editor’s note: to subscribe free of charge to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • In his first Senate run, in 1988, Bob Kerrey would not participate in any debates, because he refused to debate Ernie Chambers, who was running as a third party candidate. Kerrey and Chambers hated each other (and probably still do). Still, he has some nerve now demanding multiple deputes from Fischer.

  • Pat

    Oh dear….he hates to lose

  • Don’t you just love hyperbole, “Fischer owes everything to Wall Street”? As if she is not a hard working, intelligent, first class candidate who will beat Bob Kerrey.

  • Dave Fall

    nothing worse than a web site full of chortling Republican partisans. Sorry kids several months to go and I have my doubts when you partisans start yacking about hard work. My bet is none of you has any idea what that consists of….

    Good article Deena, oh and Welcome home Bob

  • Paula

    Welcome home Bob.

  • Truth-or-Dare

    At the very least we KNOW who is funding Deb Fischer and who the progressives think she owes her win to . . . . what about Good Old Bob? Who is funding him, what do they expect in return, and what does HE expect to get from Harry Reid and the power brokers of the Democratic party? As Nebraskans perhaps we would want to know if there is a “Cornhusker Kickback II” in the works!!!!!

    As I recall most Nebraskans weren’t too pleased with the bad publicity from Ben Nelson’s little side deal, and so perhaps Bob is having second thoughts about sharing with us his conversation with his new best bud, Harry!!! After all, he SAID he would . . . . . was he telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth????

  • Watching From Lincoln

    Hey Aaron, you’re dead right on in your assessment of Dilbit Deb, “she is not a hard working, intelligent, first class candidate who will beat Bob Kerrey.” I can’t wait for the debates, on one side you have a highly educated, articulate, intelligent person who is an expert on international relations, the military, national budgetary policies and already has demonstrable experience and skills in running state and Federal Government as well as multiple businesses and a well respected college vs. a faux rancher who, like the rest of her hypocritical Republican “agrarians” such Rep. Michelle Bachman the faux farmer and Subsidy Queen, rail against “Government welfare” all while elbowing their way into line with their hands outstretched to be the first for their subsidy handout. Dilbit Deb’s experience in international relations or anything else necessary to be a United States Senator? NONE. Her ability reach across party lines and compromise for the common good – based off of eight years of very partisan actions in the non-partisan Unicameral – NONEXISTENT. The only thing she has shown herself to be good at is doing the bidding of her financial supports and rigidly upholding their agenda with no capability for independent thought.

    Why is a foreign-owned corporation able to exercise eminent domain on Nebraska land owners? Thank Dilbit Deb for that, toeing the line for her benefactor’s agenda as a freshman Senator responsible for “strengthening” the State’s Eminent Domain laws to “better protect” individual landowners from proceedings being filed against them by private concerns. Seems that while TransCanada was in the planning stages for the Keystone I pipeline in 2006, at the same time Dilbit Deb just “happened” to leave pipeline companies off the list of those entities that could not use eminent domain against Nebraska landowners as she rewrote the laws. Friend of Nebraska farmers and ranchers? She’s definitely not.

  • John

    At least Ricketts is from Nebraska. Where is the Kerry Campaign being funded? Mabe SEIU, the DNC, or some other alphabet organization hidden in the shadows. That sword cuts two ways.

  • Watching From Lincoln

    Truth seems so hung up on something that he doesn’t understand nor actually ever happened, as the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback” never made it into the final bill, nor was it a payment of any sort to Sen. Nelson. It was designed as a Federal subsidy to Nebraska to cover the funding gap in Nebraska’s budget created by the expanded coverage of Medicaid called for in the affordable Care Act, so Nebraska’s State budget wouldn’t take a hit. Nelson was not the only Senator to ask for such a budget gap coverage for their state, either. Louisiana’s Senator asked for the same thing, too. But all these pea-brained ditto heads just repeat their little catch phrases like a Greek Chorus of mynah birds – they just pop out with no mental process involved.

  • Watching From Lincoln

    So John, you imply that Bob Kerrey is NOT from Nebraska? Hmmm, born in Nebraska, graduating from high school in Lincoln, the University of Nebraska, owning and STILL running two very successful businesses in Lincoln and Omaha somehow DOESN’T make him a Nebraskan? Oh, because he took a job in another state for ten years and had to move there doesn’t make him a Nebraskan when he comes back? I see, so if your employer offered you a big promotion IF you moved to another state, then after ten years of working that job you came back home to Nebraska, then you’re not a Nebraskan. Great lack of logic, but then the conservative mind has not really been known for logical, rational thought.

    Now, if you want a REAL carpetbagger, look no farther than John “Where the hell did he come from?” Fortenberry.

  • Ikon

    Right on WFL!!!

    Fischer won by default.! The Ricketts, “Kill Bruning” TV air buy basically told the Vidiots, “Anybody But Bruning” and was slightly slanted toward Stenberg. Why? I asked that question but no one answered. Does Ricketts know just what a Slimeball Bruning really is & was he doing NE a favor to knock the Slime out – of – box because he really cares about NE??

    As for Fischers campaign, she didn’t have one. She just happened to be ODD Girl IN.

    As for how she stacks up against Joe Bob Kerrey, you hit the nail on the head. But the local yokel NE Gopers have to play, “The Emperors New Clothes because, The Emperor is , well…

    BTW; All of the 3 jerks running in the US Senate Goper NE primary ran the same national Goper LAMO campaign. Not one original thought amoungst them!!! Dimwit party unity or what???

  • Truth-or-Dare

    The proof will be in the pudding come November!!!! If progressives win and conservatives lose, then I will tip my hat to you guys and live with the consequences. BUT if it happens the other way around, I’m not going to hold my breath for you to do the same!!

    As my grandma used to say, “What goes around comes around!!! And it could all start right here in Nebraska with Good Old Bob!!! The progressives who visit this website have been talking trash about Deb Fischer, and I guess that is to be expected . . . . they don’t have any real dirt on her so they just use the standard talking points!!! Interesting that she has a more favorable record of votes during her terms in Lincoln than the Big O had in Illinois. . . . after all he voted “present” 129 times in eight years!!!!! So I’m thinking that if he was able to horn-swoggle the American people with that kind of a record and still become President, she ought to be a shoe-in for the job in the Senate!!!!

    When it comes to debates I have no doubt that no one can spin falsehoods better than a progressive with a teleprompter!!! Ask the American people because they sure were taken with our current leader because he reads so well!!! But as has been proven on a fairly regular basis the real problem he has is telling the truth . . . . can’t decide if he just manufactures stuff to say when he writes his own speeches OR maybe he just needs a new speech writer that knows the difference!!! I admit I think Deb will have her hands full debating Bob, but I think she is up to the challenge . . . . and if she can match his “smoke and mirrors” routine, it should be a good show!!!! May the most honest person with principles and integrity win!!!

  • The Democrats “War on a Women” has begun in ernest.

  • What!

    Take your bridge and go back to NYC Bob where your wife and son live.

  • Truth-or-Dare

    Come on ‘resistwemuch” there is NO war on women . . . . it is only their diversion to keep from talking about the real issues in this election!!!! And I have to tell you that I think if they pursue this line of attack, they will drive women to the conservative side with their nonsense!!! “The Rules for Radicals” may be their playbook, but I believe the American people have been listening to this kind of garbage for 3.5+ years now, and they are learning to recognize another stink bomb when they see one!

    Deb Fischer is a grown-up, she understands the rules of the game, and she knows how to take care of herself. I visited with her recently about this very thing and asked if her family was up to the blood, sweat and tears involved in running for a job in Washington . . . she said yes with a measure of determination so I don’t doubt her word! In fact, Good Old Bob may just find that he has his hands full if he tries to pull some of his cutesy pie crap on her!! The next few months may be quite exciting here in the Heartland!

  • Ikon

    T or D:

    It’s not about Honesty, it’s about getting what’s do & right for Nebraskans & America!

    About where Obama came from & how he got where he is, you are absolutely correct. It’s the power of the media & the fault with VIDIOT Americans who actually believe the Corp. Media LIES!! Which is why, once again, Fischer is where she is! But I think, in the case of Ricketts TV spot, he or they were telling the Truth about Raccoon Jon Bruning. So, sometimes it’s not all SPIN!

    The way I see it, Fischer could win in Nebraska. Not because of any merit on her part but because there are a lot of diehard, blockhead, people in this state who would cut off their noses to spite their faces!! !!! All emotion & no common sense or logical thought. That’s why Nebraskans are considered to be Hicks or Red Rednecks by most people in the power/brain centers in America. Fly Over Country!!

    BTW; Resist, it’s not the Dems that are waging “War on Women”, it’s your chauvinist, GOPER husbands & sons. If YOU open your eyes & mind, you might notice!!