HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A new political ad for Linda Lingle is stirring up controversy, and Senator Daniel Inouye is calling that ad "grossly misleading". In it, Lingle's campaign manager, Bob Lee, makes the case that the former Governor and Senator Inouye would make a strong team for Hawaii in Washington.
"A foot in both camps will be the best for Hawaii," Lee says in the ad, referring to the Democrat Inouye and the Republican Lingle.
Lee says he's worked a lot, over the years, with Inouye and believes Inouye and GOP Senate hopeful, Lingle, can be successful together.
The ad - which Lee says is an "opinion video" - praises Inouye and references him no less than half-a-dozen times - while also commending Lingle's leadership abilities. It says, "What a combination she and Senator Inouye would make - a strong Democrat who's longevity and experience is so important - complemented by a strong colleague on the other side of the aisle."
Lingle and Democrat Mazie Hirono are battling for the junior Senate seat in Congress. Hawaii's senior Senator says he doesn't support Lingle's candidacy and is asking her campaign to stop using the ad - an ad which says, "Inouye and Lingle - a great team, and Hawaii deserves nothing less."
Inouye says it suggests a relationship that's never existed between the two politicians. He elaborates in this exclusive Hawaii News Now interview. "Someone should ask her how often she's visited this office," says Inouye. "How often have I visited her office? I do all the visiting. Now, if we're supposed to be that close, it's one thing, but to suggest that we're buddies, that's going a little too far."
Lee says that was not his intention. "If that was suggested, that was not meant to be. Again, this is my opinion that following the election, if the Governor is elected, they'll both be very effective together."
Her campaign says the ad - which is paid for by the Linda Lingle Senate Committee - will continue airing on Vimeo, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's website, and the Linda Lingle channel.
She and Hirono will face off in their final debate October 22nd at 6:30 p.m. on all platforms of Hawaii News Now - on-air and on-line.
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