Candidate for Senate rips Obama over deficit

Republican senatorial candidate Jane Norton launched her first television ad of the campaign Wednesday, but she didn’t address her GOP or likely Democratic Party opponents.

Instead, the Grand Junction native attacked President Barack Obama on the eve of his scheduled visit to Denver today.

“Mr. President, you should pledge to balance the budget or else decline to seek re-election,” Norton says in the ad. “That’d be change we could believe in.”

Obama is planning to arrive at Buckley Air Force Base this afternoon to attend fundraising events for Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who’s seeking his party’s nomination for the post against former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

Norton, who’s in a field of four Republicans looking for the GOP nod for the U.S. Senate, said Obama promised during his 2008 campaign to go through the federal budget line by line.

“The mountain of debt we’ve built is a burden that will fall to our children and our grandchildren if we don’t have the courage to stand up and reverse the trend,” Norton said in a statement. “If, by the end of his first term, President Obama cannot deliver a balanced budget, he ought to step aside and cede his position to someone who can.”

A Democratic group, ProgressNow Colorado, immediately criticized the ads, saying Norton is kowtowing to corporate lobbyists.

“The people of Colorado are fed up with corporate lobbyists running things in Washington, and no amount of advertising can whitewash Jane Norton’s ties with corporate special interests,” said Bobby Clark, the group’s executive director. “With as many right-wing lobbyists as Jane Norton has surrounded herself with, it’s not surprising that the only ideas we’ve heard from her so far are straight from the tired old right-wing insider playbook.”

Norton did offer the president some specific suggestions to balance the federal budget, including cutting discretionary spending by 20 percent and freezing it for three years, using remaining stimulus funds to pay down the debt and lowering taxes on small businesses.

The Norton camp called it a media blitz, but the solitary 30-second spot was to run Wednesday and today only. Campaign spokesman Nate Strauch said it would be augmented with radio ads, Internet posts, and e-mails. It can be viewed on YouTube at


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