Richard Blumenthal's U.S. Senate campaign is beginning its television advertising today with three spots that present him as a crusading attorney general on behalf of consumers.
All three commercials feature the faces and voices of individuals who say they were helped by Blumenthal, including a Prospect man named Gary who says the attorney general intervened with an insurance carrier to get him life-saving treatment for leukemia.
"Richard Blumenthal, for us, worked a miracle," says Gayle, the man's wife.
Another ad features a mother, Laura of Burlington, who says Blumenthal obtained insurance coverage for special formula required by her son, Skyler, who has severe allergies. The third is about Sarah, an Ellington homeowner who says he resolved a dispute with an insurer and contractor after a fire destroyed her home.
The commercials come as Blumenthal is trying to stabilize a campaign rocked by disclosures that he on occasion misrepresented his Vietnam-era military record. They also anticipate attack ads criticizing him as hyper-aggressive and anti-business as attorney general.
"Dick Blumenthal has stood up to the most powerful interests for the people of Connecticut. These ads highlight his record of results for three Connecticut families and how he made a real difference in their lives," Mindy Myers, his campaign manager, said in an emailed statement.
A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed him weathering the military controversy with a 25-percentage point lead over the endorsed Republican Linda McMahon, who has been air the for months, but has yet to air television ads attacking Blumenthal.
Her campaign cast Blumenthal's ads as a sign of a vulnerable candidate.
"I think Dick Blumenthal knows he's in trouble politically. He has an image problem. He certainly doesn't have the credentials that he can turn this economy around and build jobs," said Edward Patru, the communication director for McMahon.
Patru said McMahon's ads will continue to emphasize her status as an outsider. She is a co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment seeking elected office for the first time.
"People do not believe we will turn this economy around by sending more career politicians to Washington. They are gravitating to outsiders," Patru said.
Blumenthal's polling has found the same voter distaste for Washington, his staff has acknowledged. In his acceptance speech at the Democratic State Convention a week ago, the Democratic attorney general described Washington as out of touch, though his party controls the White House and Congress.
His ads can be viewed here.
"LAURA & SKYLER"
LAURA: The first time my son Skyler had a regular formula he blew up like a balloon and he practically died in my arms. The only formula that he could have was going to cost us $1,200 a month and the insurance company did not want to pay. I called the Attorney General's office and Richard Blumenthal made me feel like this was the most important thing.
Today Skyler will watch Richard Blumenthal on TV and say, "hey mom, there's the man who saved my life."
BLUMENTHAL: I'm Dick Blumenthal and I approved this message
"GARY & GAYLE"
GARY: When they initially told me I had the leukemia, they told me I only had thirty days to live.
GAYLE: Here he is sick in the hospital with the insurance carrier wanting to send us to Washington State.
Richard Blumenthal stepped in and fought the insurance company. We're living proof that he was there and he made a difference in our lives.
GARY: I think he really cares about what happens to people.
GAYLE: Richard Blumenthal, for us, worked a miracle.
BLUMENTHAL: I'm Dick Blumenthal. I'm proud to approve this message
SARAH: My husband and I went downstairs to find our house on fire.
We were left with nothing and were absolutely stunned when we received the bill to clean the waste
and devastated because that money was coming out of what we were eligible for to rebuild the home.
I called Attorney General Blumenthal and he ended up getting that bill greatly reduced for us. Everyone I know has a story about Richard Blumenthal or how he helped their mother or their best friend.
I have no idea how he does it. But I'm glad he does.
BLUMENTHAL: I'm Dick Blumenthal and I'm proud to approve this message.