The retired Air Force general looking to unseat incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) is hammering the Colorado lawmaker, claiming he’s missed more than half of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s meetings.
“In the Air Force, when you’re absent without leave, you get arrested,” says retired Maj. Gen. Irv Halter (D), in a new ad. “In Washington, they play by different rules.”
Halter is charging that Lamborn, a four-term incumbent, missed 58 percent of the panel’s meetings, labeling it “one of the worst records in Congress.”
In his new spot, Halter says that Lamborn “blamed others for veterans not getting the healthcare they earned,” referencing the scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department over long wait times and delayed treatment for patients.
“President Obama failed his duty, but Congressman Lamborn didn’t even show up,” says Halter.
Lamborn’s campaign dismissed the new ad.
“Congress isn’t elementary school and this isn’t about attendance, it’s about results. Congressman Lamborn has a strong record of achievement for the veterans in the Fifth Congressional District,” Lamborn campaign spokesman Jarred Rego said in a statement.
Rego said the congressman worked on a number of veterans’ issues, including playing a “critical part in negotiating” the multi-billion VA overhaul Congress passed last summer. He added that Lamborn worked to bring a new veterans cemetery to the region and supported the development and funding of a new VA clinic.
Challengers in campaigns this midterm year have seized rivals’ missed votes or hearings, accusing incumbents of neglecting their duties in Washington.
Iowa Senate hopeful Joni Ernst (R), has spent months hitting Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) for missing a majority of the veterans’ panel meetings.
The ad is the second spot Halter’s campaign has cut in recent weeks.