JEFFERSON CITY — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Blunt started airing television ads Tuesday that highlight his background but leave out his government experience.
In the ad, Blunt stands on a farm while old family photographs flash on the screen. Blunt explains that his grandmothers taught in one-room school houses and that after becoming the first in his family to graduate from college, he became a high school teacher and college president.
Blunt also criticizes Congress and contends federal policies have made it harder for people to achieve through hard work and education.
"Irresponsible spending and crippling debt are killing jobs today and our children's future tomorrow," Blunt said in the ad.
There is no mention of the elected offices Blunt has held. Blunt was Missouri's secretary of state from 1985 to 1993 and has served in the U.S. House since 1997.
Rich Chrismer, a spokesman for Blunt's campaign, said the ads started running statewide Tuesday. Chrismer said the ad focused on how the American dream has been threatened.
Blunt "is discussing the values of education and hard work and how those values cannot possibly survive unless the people put a stop to the Washington liberal-power monopoly," Chrismer said.
Missouri's primary election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond is Aug. 3.
Republican state Sen. Chuck Purgason is challenging Blunt in the GOP primary, and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, is the Democratic front-runner.
In a news release about the new ad, Blunt's campaign focused its criticism on Carnahan over the federal health care overhaul, energy legislation and the federal stimulus package.
Carnahan campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said voters are tired of Blunt's own spending.
"Congressman Blunt has become part of the very worst of Washington when it comes to waste, corruption, and sticking it to the middle class, and now he is defending his record to voters on both sides of the aisle," Zakula said.
Purgason, who is seeking to tap into anti-incumbent sentiments started running radio ads last month criticizing Blunt as a "Washington insider." Purgason said Tuesday it is more significant what Blunt did not say in his TV ad, such as voting for the federal bailout of troubled financial institutions.
"The people who got us into this mess are not the ones who are going to get us out of it," Purgason said.
Blunt also has been criticized in ads from other groups over opposition to energy legislation that included a cap-and-trade program.