Arkansas's U.S. Senate election is still one year away, but you wouldn't know it by the way the candidates are spending money on campaigns.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor is launching a new web site and ad targeting his 2014 challenger Rep. Tom Cotton.
The new 30 second ad hits Cotton over Medicare and Social Security. Pryor's campaign told Channel 7 News the ad is a substantial buy that is running statewide.
The ad is titled "Seventy" because the ad claims Cotton voted in support of raising the age of Social Security to 70 years of age.
Cotton did support the Republican Study Committee's 2014 budget, which proposed the eligibility age would increase to age 70 in two month increments, beginning in 2024.
The ad also says Cotton supported cuts to Social Security by voting for the same 2014 budget plan.
"Some politicians like Tom Cotton voted to cut Social Security. Turn Medicare into a voucher system. And raise the age of eligibility to 70. Not Mark Pryor. Mark's working to make Social Security and Medicare stronger by cutting billions in waste, more doctor visits, and preventive care and lower prescription costs," narrators read in the ad.
The Pryor campaign also launched a web site on Tuesday called AmbitiousTom.com. The web site will be pushed on social media, but will not be advertised across the web.
Pryor campaign spokes person Amy Schlesing told Channel 7 News the web site is a part of their effort to educate voters on Cotton's financial support from special interest groups such as Club for Growth.
"Tom Cotton's ambition has driven him into the arms of special interest groups and he jumped right into their agenda. His ambition is his drive. It's not about Arkansas. It's about Tom Cotton," Schlesing said.
Cotton's camp didn't appear concerned about Pryor's November spending, instead interpreting it as an attempt by the Senator's campaign to draw attention away from Pryor's support of Obamacare and the struggling web site.
"Senator Pryor is already throwing a last minute Hail Mary pass, and the election is still 12 months away. Senator Pryor must be scared to death that his votes for Obamacare make his re-election impossible," said Cotton spokesperson David Ray.
The Cotton campaign then levied it's own criticism of Pryor's stance on Medicare.
"The truth is that Mark Pryor voted to cut $700 billion from today's Medicare recipients while doing nothing to stabilize the program for the future. Senator Pryor has cut Medicare for today's seniors and would let it go broke before tomorrow's seniors even get there," said Ray.
Cotton's campaign released this ad on Youtube in response to Pryor's. It references the Senator's voting record on Medicare.
"Senator Pryor's lockstep loyalty to President Obama is a bad deal for Arkansas," said Ray.
- Elicia Dover and Janelle Lilley contributed to this blog post
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