Nelson begins airing pre-primary adsby John Kennedy | August 1st, 2012
After weeks of getting slammed on Florida TV in opposition ads, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will begin airing his own ‘getting-to-know-you’ spots Thursday across the state — in advance of the Aug. 14 primary.
Nelson’s campaign said the two-term Democrat has been on the receiving end of more than $10 million in critical advertising this summer, the bulk of it coming from Crossroads GPS, the political commitee allied with Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush.
“It’s time the people of Florida started getting the truth,” said Nelson Campaign Manager Pete Mitchell. The campaign declined to elaborate on other details of the ad buy.
Nelson’s 30-second spot includes some fuzzy black-and-white photos from the lawmaker’s boyhood before segueing into his support for environmental issues, Medicare and education. It concludes with “Bill Nelson, Fighting for Florida. Always has. Always will.”
Nelson, who has held office in Florida almost continuously the past 40 years, faces self-styled opponent Glenn Burkett, a health care consultant, in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary. Nelson has $10 million cash-on-hand for his re-election campaign and the ad buy is likely a defensive move to remind supporters to come out for him in what is certain to be a low-turnout summer primary.
Plenty more ads will air this fall, when Nelson is expected to face Republican Connie Mack in one of the nation’s most-watched Senate races. Mack is looking to link Nelson with Obama as a pair of “lockstep liberals.” The Democratic senator is cautious about engaging Mack — yet.
Indeed, even with a no-sweat primary currently facing him, Nelson has been wary of saying too much.
Asked recently by the Palm Beach Post if his pre-Aug. 14 strategy would include a round of statewide television advertising to reintroduce himself to voters, Nelson ducked. “That’s campaign strategy, and I can’t telegraph that to you or my opponent,” Nelson said.