Although his campaign is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to air a television ad that smears John Deere, his opponent’s employer, Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack told an audience in Davenport that he fully supports the company.
Here is the text of Loebsack’s attack ad: “I’m Dave Loebsack and I approve this message. Iowa lost over 11,000 jobs due to unfair trade, outsourced overseas. And John Archer is part of the problem. Archer is an executive for the global division of a corporation that shipped 900 jobs to Mexico…”
Although the ad never mentions John Deere by name, it is clear the ad is critical of the company. The claims of shipping jobs to Mexico are dubious, as well. However, during a multi-candidate forum in Davenport on Sunday, Loebsack said he was not attacking the John Deere, the city’s largest employer.
“I made it very clear publicly that I have absolutely no beef with John Deere,” Loebsack said, eliciting a few chuckles from the audience. “John Deere’s a great company. I’m a native Iowan. I grew up here. I know how important John Deere is to the Iowa economy…My beef is with my opponent and with our differences that he has outlined on trade policy.”
John Archer, incredulous of his opponent’s gall, responded: “I just want to make it crystal clear and ask my opponent what company he was referring to in that attack ad.”
Loebsack never answered Archer’s question. Since this was a forum and not a debate, the two opponents did not have the opportunity to directly respond to each other. Instead their responses were included while answering questions about trade and the economy.
“Just recently the Des Moines Register has ranked Congressman Loebsack the most ineffective member of the Iowa delegation. When he couples that with attacking John Deere, he’s simply out of touch,” Archer added.
Loebsack and Archer headlined a multi-candidate forum in Davenport sponsored by the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Each candidate was asked the same four questions. While providing detailed answers, Archer also seized the opportunity to respond to Loebsack’s attack ads.
“My opponent voted against free trade agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama,” Archer said. “Former Governor Vilsack, current Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, indicated those free trade agreements would create tens of thousands of jobs here in America and thousands of jobs here in Iowa. And Congressman Loebsack voted against those trade agreements. He voted against jobs.”
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