The campaign of State Auditor Matt Rosendale, the conservative front runner for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), released his first ad on Friday focused on the need to deliver a “buzz cut” to federal spending.
The winner of the June 5 GOP primary will take on Tester, one of ten incumbent Democratic Senators up for re-election in November in a state Donald Trump won in 2016.
Tester drew the ire of the president this week when he worked to sabotage the nomination of President Trump’s personal White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson for Secretary of the Veteran Affairs Administration. After a number of personal attacks by Democrats, Jackson withdrew his nomination.
“President Donald Trump focused his anger on Montana Sen. Jon Tester for smearing Dr. Ronny Jackson, his former nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The president condemned the unconfirmed allegations against Jackson — currently serving as the White House physician,” Breitbart News reported on Friday.
“The false accusations that were made about him by Senator Tester from a great state — I don’t think that state is going to put up with it,” the president said.
Trump won Montana by 20 points in 2016. Tester was re-elected in 2012 by four points.
The ad released by the Rosendale campaign on Friday begins with Rosendale, who has effectively cut state spending as State Auditor, sitting in a barber’s chair. His wife Jean holds a barber’s buzz cutter in her hands, and she applies it to his hair.
Here is the script of the ad:
Jean Rosendale: For Matt, cutting spending is personal.
When Montana’s budget was in crisis, Matt cut his operating costs by 23%.
And when they passed the pay raise for politicians, Matt didn’t take it – only one who didn’t.
Matt Rosendale: You know government needs a haircut.
If we keep their spending down that’s more money in your pocket.
I practice what I preach.
Just ask my wife.
Jean Rosendale: Oh, he’s cheap alright.
Matt Rosendale: I’m Matt Rosendale and I approve this message.
You can watch the ad here:
Though Rosendale is not the only candidate vying for the Republican nomination, he has secured an impressive array of conservative endorsements, including three from the most recognized leaders of the conservative movement in the Senate: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Conservative and limited government groups that have endorsed him include Club for Growth, Citizens United, FreedomWorks, Gun Owners of America, and Great America Alliance.
A poll released earlier this month by WPA Intelligence, paid for by Club for Growth, gives Rosendale a hefty lead in the GOP primary.
Rosendale comes in first with 40 percent, followed by former Judge and State Representative Russ Fagg in a distant second, 23 points behind ,with 17 percent.
Troy Downing, a businessman originally from California who tweeted in 2016 that President Trump is “either a liar or an idiot,” is in third with 12 percent, and State Senator Albert Olszewski is in fourth with eight percent. Only 23 percent of likely Republican primary voters were undecided in the poll.
Should Rosendale win the GOP primary next month, the stage will be set for a November “battle of the buzz cuts,” one of whom (Tester) opposes the Trump agenda, and the other of whom (Rosendale) vigorously supports it.