Yesterday’s gaffe is today’s commercial: Democrat Richard Blumenthal wasted no time Friday exploiting Republican Linda McMahon’s struggle Thursday to answer questions about the federal minimum wage.

The wage flap is an element of a new commercial attacking how McMahon operated her business, World Wrestling Entertainment. It also tweaks McMahon for her heavy advertising in the U.S. Senate race, opening with a screen showing 25 images of the GOP candidate.

“Linda McMahon is everywhere,” an announcer says. “But will she be there for you?”

The commercial accurately describes McMahon as taking $10 million from the state in tax credits for WWE and $46 million in income while trimming the WWE’s workforce by 10 percent.

“Her business is under investigation for failing for pay Social Security, Medicare or unemployment. She took home $46 million,” the announcer says. “And now she’s talking about lowering the minimum wage.”

The Blumenthal campaign said late today the new spot begins airing tonight in the Hartford market. Blumenthal is trying to fend off McMahon, who closed to within three-percentage points this week in a Quinnipiac University poll.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is running a commercial with similar themes, describing McMahon as benefitting from state tax credits.

The Blumenthal commercial is wrong on one count. It flashes on a headline that incorrectly states: “McMahon: Congress should consider lowering minimum wage.”

She never said that.

But in response to questions Thursday, McMahon initially failed to rule out supporting a cut in the minimum wage or even a repeal of the minimum-wage law, though she eventually clarified that she would not back a cut or a repeal.

While accepting the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, McMahon seemed unprepared for questions about the group’s agenda, which includes freezing the minimum wage. She also did not know the current minimum wage.

The new commercial might leave viewers with the impression that WWE is under investigation for failing to pay Social Security, Medicare and or unemployment for its 600 employees, most of whom are based at its headquarters in Stamford

WWE is under investigation for whether some independent contractors, including its star wrestlers, should have been classified as employees. If so, WWE should have been paying toward Social Security, Medicare and unemployment compensation.

The commercial turns up the criticism on McMahon, using the voices of three voters, intercut with graphics and a voice-over that support the commercial’s biting tag line: “Linda McMahon. Profits before people.”


Announcer: Linda McMahon is everywhere. But will she be there for you?

Frank Pannone of West Haven: I’m very concerned about how Linda McMahon runs her business.

Announcer: She took $10 million from the state to create jobs, but fired 10 percent of her workers.

Tyisha Walker of New Haven: She’s not going to be there for us.

Announcer: Her business is under investigation for failing for pay Social Security, Medicare or unemployment. She took home $46 million. And now she’s talking about lowering the minimum wage.

Lisa Tremblay of Shelton: She is all in it for her.

Announcer: Linda McMahon. Profits before people.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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