After today’s announcement that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will run ads in support of Republican Steve Abbott for governor, fellow Republican candidate Matt Jacobson’s campaign manager Bill Becker had this to say in a press release:
On a day when an arrest has been made right here in Maine in connection with the attempted Times Square bombing and illegal immigration charges, Mainers should be wary of recommendations by the US Chamber of Commerce whose support of amnesty undermines the constitution and the security of our state and nation.
Of course, Becker didn’t link the Chamber directly to the Times Square bomb attempt (that would be insane), but to mention them in the same paragraph and say their legislative goals would make the country less safe, while hammering on the immigration issue, is a pretty clear attempt to get conservatives under Jacobson despite the Chamber’s support for Abbott.
(For the record: According to its website, the USCC wants immigration reform that includes “an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society.”)
The Jacobson campaign must view this endorsement as a serious blow, as their candidate has been promoting his past as a business leader and proponent of economic growth everywhere he possibly could. On the stump, he often recalls a “sleepless night” worrying about the future of Maine children because a manufacturing company decided not to come to Maine.
The guy really, really, wants to be the Republicans’ pro-business, pro-jobs candidate. That’s hard to do when the director of media relations for the largest nonprofit lobbying group, whose job it is to represent business, tells the Lewiston Sun Journal that Steve Abbott “understands what the issues are that are going to create jobs” in Maine.
This certainly doesn’t bode well for Bruce Poliquin or Les Otten, each of whom have also tried to establish themselves as the “business” candidate and ran TV spots about their jobs plans. Even if the Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement doesn’t directly translate to voter support, I’m sure they would’ve liked to have seen its money directed toward ads for their campaigns, not Abbotts.