LOS ANGELES – Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) released a new TV spot in California's recall election that emphasizes his personal success story and willingness to tackle tough state problems with skills that made him a world-class weight lifter and international film star.
The spot will air statewide starting Tuesday.
It offers no response to recent TV spots from Democratic Gov. Gray Davis (search) that attack Schwarzenegger's refusal to debate the governor, his failure to vote in 13 of the 21 most recent elections and alleged misstatements about the economy and budget.
"Davis has gone negative because we have gone out well ahead," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Todd Harris (search). "He says he's close to defeating the recall, but if he was, he wouldn't take the risk of going negative. But he has. That proves more than anything that we can say that he's far behind."
Schwarzenegger's campaign has denounced Davis' spot as a return to negative campaigning Davis has made a personal hallmark but that repeated polls show turns voters off.
The TV spot drives home themes polls show work best for Schwarzenegger: He's an outsider, he's succeeded in business and he's worked on behalf of poor children. Typically, such a biographical ad is used early in a campaign.
But Schwarzenegger aides say this ad is designed to contrast Schwarzenegger's positive themes against Davis' increasingly negative campaign.
Davis aides point out that Schwarzenegger aired the first negative campaign ad, attacking the Davis record on the budget, jobs, energy costs, and driver's licenses for illegal aliens.
"We're not going negative," Davis spokesman Gabriel Sanchez told Fox News. "We're going to the facts. There's not one thing in our ads that is false. If the ad hurts, that's because the truth hurts Arnold. That's not our fault."