“Typical false attacks,” says an announcer about Trivedi’s first ad , which went on the air two weeks ago. The Gerlach spot focuses on Trivedi’s vocal support for President Obama’s stimulus plan.
“Manan Trivedi supported billions in wasted stimulus. Spending, Trivedi said, was absolutely necessary. Spending that actually created jobs… in China.”
The ad pivots halfway to boast of Gerlach’s business credentials, including endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NFIB.
Update: Trivedi Senior Adviser Daren Berringer fired back.
“Congressman Gerlach’s record and now his ad continue to miss the mark here in Pennsylvania. He has been a part of the go-along to get-along crowd within this Republican Congress for so long that he fails to remember his own agenda to slash Medicare for seniors, remove access to health care for women and send millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations who outsource jobs overseas,” he said.
“With our economy continuing to struggle, Congressman Gerlach has no concrete accomplishments on jobs in Washington, but he sure is good at taking pay raises and doubling his own pension.”
Gerlach’s campaign said the ad is on cable throughout the district (and, like Trivedi, not on broadcast TV).
The Gerlach campaign clearly doesn’t take the challenge for granted, otherwise they would have stuck to an all-positive message. They sought to define their opponent as well.
The five-term Congressman is an infamous escape artist, routinely defeating Democrats by narrow margins in unfavorable election environments. In the pro-GOP year 2010, he beat Trivedi by 14 points. Since last cycle, the 6th was redistricted in such a way that is became 5 percent more favorable to Republicans.
That’s the good redistricting news for Gerlach. The bad news is, because the district is significantly different, 50 percent of 6th district constituents have never seen his name (or Trivedi’s) on the ballot before.
Trivedi has a good profile. A battlefield surgeon who served in Iraq, he grew up in Berks County and is now a physician. Though Gerlach ended the second quarter with more cash on hand ($885K total), Trivedi boasted the most of any Dem challenger in Pa. ($527K).
The benefit of Trivedi’s profile isn’t lost on Gerlach’s campaign, which in recent weeks has highlighted questions about the Democrat’s residency (pun intended). The Trivedis own a home in the DC area, Trivedi says because his wife works there frequently. And while Trivedi has worked in two DC-area hospitals in 2012, he has practiced medicine in Pa.
Here’s a web video the Gerlach people put out on the subject: