No sooner did Congressman Bob Turner announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand than did Democrats, both in New York and in Washington D.C., connect the Republican candidate to controversial conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Mr. Turner, a retired television executive, is credited with helping make Mr. Limbaugh’s television show a reality during the 1990s.
“We welcome Congressman Turner to the race,” Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Ms. Gillibrand said in an email. “We look forward to contrasting Senator Gillibrand’s record of fighting for New York’s middle class with that of Congressman Turner’s record as a former Rush Limbaugh producer turned self-proclaimed ‘pandering’ Republican if he becomes the nominee.”
Further pushing the Limbaugh-oriented messaging, Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee told CNN Mr. Turner “is a former Rush Limbaugh producer turned Congressman who is at best a C-list candidate and will struggle to win over New Yorkers.”
Mr. Limbaugh, of course, is a lightning rod for candidates all across the country as Democrats call on Republicans to disavow his infamous “prostitute” and “slut” remarks towards a woman advocating for insurance coverage of contraceptives. Mr. Turner previously said his television show with Mr. Limbaugh caused them to “get bombed with complaints from NOW [National Organization for Women] and the other Democratic surrogates,” something that is likely to continue during his senatorial campaign.
Potentially helping the Democrats’ messaging efforts, Mr. Limbaugh’s comments may contrast sharply with Ms. Gillibrand’s branding as a women’s rights advocate. She has an “Off The Sidelines” project urging women to get involved in politics and organized an online petition against Mr. Limbaugh specifically during the height of his most recent controversy.
Update: From Mr. Turner’s spokeswoman Jessica Proud: