West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin appears in a new television ad firing a gun, while telling viewers he will "take on Washington and this administration and get the federal government off our backs and out of our pockets."
Manchin's Republican opponent, John Raese, has attacked Manchin as a sure "rubber stamp" for President Obama and Washington Democrats if elected to the U.S. Senate and the strategy may be working, with the well known governor trailing in the polls.
In the newly released ad, Manchin tries to change that perception by promising to "repeal the bad parts of Obama care," using the term favored by conservative Republicans to describe Obama's national health care law. The candidate also says he will "take dead aim at the cap and trade bill," while firing a rifle at a mock copy of the cap and trade bill.
Manchin is a popular governor and had been considered the favorite in the special election to complete the late Senator Robert Byrd's term. However, Republican businessman John Raese has spent his own money on tough political ads tying Manchin to the president, whose approval rate in the state is just 29 percent according to the latest Fox News opinion dynamics poll.
On Monday, Manchin campaigned with former President Bill Clinton, who carried the state in both of his successful presidential campaigns.
"If people weren't hurting and frustrated and angry [Manchin] would be up by 30 points and you know it," said Clinton. "When you make a decision when you're mad there's about an 80 percent chance you'll make a mistake... don't let this guy play you. Stick with Joe Manchin."
Meanwhile Republicans are now going after Manchin for his response to a Politico story that said Raese tried to hire "hicky" looking actors to play West Virginians in a campaign television ad.
ABC reported Monday that the language asking for a "hicky" look was only in the "booking sheet," which was produced by an outside talent agency not directly hired by national Republicans."Now that the claims made by Joe Manchin and his friends in the Washington media have been proven false, Manchin should immediately apologize to John Raese, remove his false attack ad from the airwaves and start focusing on the important issues facing the voters of West Virginia," said Brian Walsh of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.