In response to an attack ad put out by Sen. Arlen Specter, the campaign of Rep. Joe Sestak has reached out to reporters -- with a spokesman calling it a "Republican-style negative campaign" -- but also veterans who have pledged their support for his Senate campaign.
In an email obtained by the Post-Gazette, Sestak staffer Eric Bontrager, writing to veterans, called the Specter ad a "Swift Boat-like campaign," referring to the since-discredited group that tried to undermine Sen. John Kerry's Navy service during his 2004 presidential campaign. Specter's ad cites a Navy Times article saying Sestak was relieved of duty for a "poor command climate" -- my profile of the former admiral also delves into this -- which Sestak disputes, saying he ruffled feathers by advocating for a smaller fleet. [We're imagining Sestak as Jack Nicholson's Col. Jessup here, just for fun.]
The missive asks the vets to write letters to the editor to their local newspapers to "share your thoughts on this latest game of political trickery by Arlen Specter."
Full email is below the jump.
Dear Sestak Supporter,
Earlier today, Senator Arlen Specter showed that
there is nolimit to how low he is willing to go or
how big of a lie he is willing to telljust to
remain in the Senate with an television ad
attacking Joe Sestak's record of service. See
story and video here:
Attacking the character of a man who served our
country withdistinction and honor during his 31
years in the Navy, Specter's baselessattacks on
Joe Sestak's record exemplifiesall that is
disgusting and wrong with Washington today.
For the record:
Joe honorably served his country for 31 years
in the U.S. Navy
He was President Bill Clinton's Director
for Defense Policy in the White House
He commanded the George Washington Aircraft
Carrier Battle Group during combat operations
in Afghanistan and Iraq
In our time of national crisis in the
immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned
to Joe Sestak to head "Deep Blue" the Navy
anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the
As the highest-ranking former military officer
ever elected to either branch of Congress, no
one has done more on behalf of our fighting men
and women or our veterans than Joe
For a Senator to resort to this Swift Boat-like
campaign asGeorge W. Bush did in 2004 and attack a
veteran who time and time again puthimself in
harm's way for his country demonstrates the
undeniable truth that Specter is unfit to remain
in the U.S. Senate and must be relieved.
WE MUST TELL ARLEN WEWON'T TOLERATE HIS GAMES
We need your help calling Specter's attacks for
what theyare with Letters to the Editor toyour
local paper. Please use our
Letter to the Editor program on GoJoe andshare
your thoughts on this latest game of political
trickery by Arlen Specter.
Please help us get the word out by reaching out to
yourfellow veterans and ask them to submit
letters. We have plenty of letters thatcan be sent
out, so if you do not have the time to write a
letter, pleasee-mail and I will send you one you
can submit. If you need any help submittinga
letter, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you all not just for your support but also
for yourservice to our country. We know that with
your assistance, we can beat backthese disgusting
attacks and get back to the real issues that
Joe Sestak for Senate