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The Republican Governors Association, which helped knock down independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy Cahill's poll numbers with previous advertisements, launched two new ads Friday attacking Cahill and Gov. Deval Patrick.
The RGA's previous ads focused primarily on Cahill, but this time one of its two 15-second television ads faults Democrat Patrick for wasteful spending and his refusal to rule out new taxes if re-elected.
In the other ad, Cahill is criticized for making the state's budget woes worse.
The Patrick ad begins with an announcer saying: "Deval Patrick spends too much. That means your taxes have gone up. And up. And up."
The ad ends by saying the result of Patrick's fiscal policies has been fewer jobs.
Tim Murtaugh, an RGA spokesman, would not answer directly why the RGA decided to launch its first ad of the campaign focusing solely on Patrick, but said the move should not have been unexpected.
"No one should be surprised that we would engage the incumbent governor," Murtaugh said. "He has got to answer for what his record is."
A spokesman for Patrick's campaign said the ad reflects poorly on Republican Charles Baker's campaign.
"Baker has a well-documented history of misrepresenting the facts and embracing negative tactics to score political points," Patrick spokesman Alex Goldstein said in a statement. "It is unfortunate Baker and his pals will continue resorting to cheap stunts and negative ads instead of giving the people of Massachusetts an honest discussion of the real issues facing the Commonwealth, like job creation, education and health care."
Baker's campaign said they had nothing to do with the content or the timing of the ad.
The newest RGA ad attacking Cahill accuses the Quincy Democrat of "hiring his friends" and "defending his cronies."
The ad also has a Cahill soundbite from a recent gubernatorial radio debate: "I'm not passing myself off as a reformer or as a good government guy."
Murtaugh of the RGA said the ad continues the organization's effort to present Cahill's true record to the public.
"The more people learned what his record was, the less they liked it," Murtaugh said.
The latest polls have shown a sharp drop in Cahill's political standing, with a recent Boston Globe poll projecting Cahill to receive 9 percent of the vote.
Cahill's campaign said the ad continues the trend of the Baker campaign turning to out-of-state interests for help.
"Mr. Baker's dependency on Washington insiders points to the difficulty his candidacy is having in finding a message and getting elected on his own merit," Cahill campaign manager Adam Meldrum said in a statement.
An RGA spokesman declined to say how much the RGA paid for the ads, but called the amount "significant."
The RGA ads follow Baker's web ad released on Thursday that poked fun at Patrick, playing off a recent television appearance in which Patrick said he could not hear an anchor's questions. The clips came from the governor's live interview on Tuesday with an anchor from a Boston TV station.
Patrick called the Web ad a "cheap shot" and said the ad made more of a statement about Baker's campaign than his own.
"All ads reflect the character of the candidate," Patrick said.
The governor also told reporters he was not trying to duck the questions the anchor asked about taxes and unemployment.
"I'm happy to answer those and other questions," he said.
Baker said the add was humorous.
"I would hope most people would get the joke with respect to the tongue and cheek nature of the ad," Baker said.
However, the Republican said all the facts in the add, including statistics about Patrick's propensity to raise taxes and spending, are accurate.
At a press conference on Friday, Baker continued a line of attack similar to the one in the web ad, and warned that Patrick may raise taxes again.
Baker, Patrick and Cahill will be joined on the November ballot by Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein.
This program aired on July 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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