Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Chabot ad responds to challenger Cranley

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Political opponents attack each other's records all the time, but U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot has come up with a new kind of attack ad against Democratic challenger John Cranley — saying his opponent has no record.

        In a 30-second Chabot ad that began airing Tuesday, an 8-month-old interview Mr. Cranley gave to his college newspaper is used to make the argument that Mr. Cranley is young and inexperienced.

        “I'm only 25 years old; I've never had a full-time job,” Mr. Cranley, who is now 26, told the Harvard Law Record in a January interview, days after announcing his candidacy in the 1st Congres sional District.

        Chabot campaign spokesman Brian Griffith said the new TV ad is a response to one the Cranley campaign began running two weeks ago, which turns Mr. Chabot's head into a Pac Man video game character, gobbling up campaign donations from special interests.

        “Why does (Mr. Cranley's) lack of experience give him the right to distort Steve Chabot's good record?” the narrator of the Chabot ad says. “It's not a game, Mr. Cranley, and running a smear campaign against our congressman won't score you any points.”

        Mr. Cranley, a Price Hill native and graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School, said the interviewer at the Harvard Law Record took his comments out of context.

        “He asked me what kind of issues I thought the Chabot campaign would throw at me,” Mr. Cranley said. “I said, "Probably the fact that I was 25 and had never had a full-time job.' It turns out I was right.”

        At first, many saw Mr. Cranley as a sacrificial lamb, running against an incumbent Republican who has survived several tough political challenges. But Mr. Cranley has raised more than $300,000.


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