Democratic Senate candidates going on the offensive in ads

The slow-speed chase that was the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat has taken on the more fast-paced and angry tone that has characterized its Republican counterpart.

With a week to go until Election Day and with polls showing their race tightening, Sen. Michael Bennet and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff are criticizing each other.

Romanoff last week attacked Bennet’s previous employment with conservative Philip Anschutz, questioning Bennet’s actions with Anschutz’ acquisition of Regal Theaters.

“They haven’t disputed most of the fundamental facts” in his ad campaign against Bennet, Romanoff said on Monday, soon after Bennet’s campaign issued a statement questioning Romanoff’s independence from lobbyists’ influence.

Romanoff’s ads “have been proven to be deceitful and dishonest,” Bennet campaign spokesman Trevor Kincaid said. “We always expected untrue ads to come out; we hoped we wouldn’t see this level of dishonesty from a fellow Democrat.”

Romanoff said he’s been just as victimized, especially on the matter of Social Security. “I don’t want to privatize Social Security,” Romanoff said in response to another criticism of him from the Bennet campaign.

“If we’re going to have these exchanges, then instead of hiding behind surrogates, my opponent ought to debate me face to face,” Romanoff said, offering to meet Bennet in Grand Junction and “give the Western Slope the opportunity to hear from both of us at the same time.”

Bennet already has his schedule for the week leading up to the election, Kincaid said.

The Bennet campaign, meanwhile, established a page on its site, bennetforcolorado.com/truth, to dispute Romanoff’s ads.

According to a Survey USA poll done for The Denver Post and 9News, Romanoff and Bennet are in a dead heat, with Bennet at 48 percent to Romanoff’s 45 percent. The poll published Sunday has a margin of error of 4.3 points.


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