Alexander acknowledges Joe Carr’s existence — by attacking him in mailer

From a Michael Collins story:

With the primary just days away, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign is doing something it has avoided doing for months: It is finally acknowledging the existence of Republican challenger Joe Carr.

Alexander’s campaign is attacking Carr by name for the first time in a flier sent to voters in several Middle Tennessee counties where Carr is presumed to have his strongest support.

The two-page pamphlet, which began showing up in voters’ mailboxes Wednesday, contrasts Alexander’s record with Carr’s and points out that Carr voted for the Common Core education standards as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. Carr now opposes Common Core and has made it one of the tenets of his Senate campaign.

“Can We Trust Joe Carr in the United States Senate?” asks the flier, a copy of which was obtained by the News Sentinel.

The handbill, distributed a week before the Aug. 7 election and on the heels of an Alexander internal poll showing the two-term senator with a 32-point lead, marks a shift in strategy for his campaign. Though Carr has pounded Alexander relentlessly throughout the campaign, Alexander has mostly ignored him and has refused to even mention him by name until now.

Alexander’s campaign said the flier is an attempt to clear up misinformation about his record.

“We’re setting the record straight because some of Sen. Alexander’s opponents are trying to confuse voters about his record,” said his campaign spokesman, Brian Reisinger. “Lamar is going to be senator the next six years, and we wanted to be sure voters in some Middle Tennessee counties were clear about his record.”

Note: Carr’s responsive news release is below.

News release from Joe Carr campaign:
NASHVILLE, TN – TN State Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr released the following statement tonight in reaction to Sen. Lamar Alexander going negative and attacking Carr:

“Things must be really bad for Lamar to go negative and embrace these kind of dishonest and deceitful tactics. But if it’s a debate about Common Core he wants, I dare Lamar Alexander to stop hiding behind his negative attacks and debate me before next week’s election.”

As reported today by the Knoxville News Sentinel,”with the primary just days away, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign is doing something it has avoided doing for months: It is finally acknowledging the existence of Republican challenger Joe Carr.Alexander’s campaign is attacking Carr by name for the first time in a flier sent to voters in several Middle Tennessee counties where Carr is presumed to have his strongest support…”

Carr added, “Talk about blatant hypocrisy – I’ve spent the last two years fighting against Common Core but when Lamar Alexander is asked about his position he says ‘let’s not talk about Common Core.’ If this is something Lamar Alexander really feels strongly about, why does he refuse to take a position? What does it say about Lamar Alexander that he’s willing to take cheap-shots at me in a flier, but won’t stand-up and debate me in person?”

The negative attack against Carr comes as Alexander continues to come under attack for comments made earlier this week while campaigning in Tennessee that revealed a massive divide between Senator Lamar Alexander and the Tennessee Congressional Delegation. When asked about his support of the Senate’s immigration bill (S. 744) last year, Alexander replied, “I voted to end amnesty.” However, Tennessee Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, Phil Roe, Jimmy Duncan Jr., Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischmann have been vocally forceful in their characterization of S. 744 as “amnesty.”

“This is very straight-forward, either Lamar Alexander is lying or he’s suggesting Reps. Blackburn, Black, Duncan, Roe, DesJarlais and Fleischmann are when they call S. 744 ‘amnesty’,” said TN State Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr. “You have to wonder if Reps. Blackburn, Black, Duncan, Roe, DesJarlais and Fleischmann agree with Lamar when he says the Senate immigration bill was actually a ‘vote to end amnesty.'”

“The Senate amnesty bill is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives,”
Rep. Blackburn declared at the time. “I do not believe in amnesty and if we are going to make any changes to our system we must start by securing our borders. Any other reform effort is meaningless if we don’t start with strengthening our border security.”

Rep. Black decisively said, “There is no place for amnesty in immigration reform, period…In Congress, I was proud to be a vocal opponent of S. 744, the flawed Senate immigration bill that would have granted almost immediate legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.”

“I’m not going to vote for a bill that looks to me like it’s very similar to the [1986 amnesty] bill,” Rep. Duncan said about the S. 744. “I don’t know that Ronald Reagan would do the same thing if he was facing a problem that had become four or five times worse than it was in 1986.”

“The United States has always had a generous legal immigration policy, but we simply cannot grant amnesty to those who choose to break the law,” Rep. DesJarlais said in a statement about S. 744. “The Senate immigration proposal is the ObamaCare of immigration: A broad, comprehensive bill fraught with unintended consequences and unexpected results. I will fight to make sure this bill never reaches the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Providing a pathway to citizenship before securing the border is putting the cart before the horse. Before overhauling our nation’s immigration system, we should first ensure we are enforcing the laws that are already on the books.”

Rep. Flesichmann added, “An estimated 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently reside in the United States. I do not support rewarding these illegal immigrants with amnesty. In 1986, when legislation was passed granting general amnesty, the illegal immigrant population quadrupled.”

“I am opposed to the Senate bill because it includes a pathway to citizenship without sufficient protections to ensure our laws won’t be broken in the future,” Rep. Roe said last year. “Congress must take a transparent, incremental approach to dealing with this important issue instead of rushing through a seriously flawed piece of legislation.”


The two-page pamphlet, which began showing up in voters’ mailboxes Wednesday, contrasts Alexander’s record with Carr’s and points out that Carr voted for the Common Core education standards as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. Carr now opposes Common Core and has made it one of the tenets of his Senate campaign.

“Can We Trust Joe Carr in the United States Senate?” asks the flier, a copy of which was obtained by the News Sentinel.

Alexander, it says, is “The Conservative Tennesseans Can Trust.”

The handbill, distributed a week before the Aug. 7 election and on the heels of an Alexander internal poll showing the two-term senator with a 32-point lead, marks a shift in strategy for his campaign. Though Carr has pounded Alexander relentlessly throughout the campaign, Alexander has mostly ignored him and has refused to even mention him by name until now.

Alexander’s campaign said the flier is an attempt to clear up misinformation about his record.