PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Since mid-August, Congressman Keith Rothfus, a Sewickley Republican, has been running television campaign ads.
First, there was one with his mother, who says, "Somebody has to put the truth on Facebook."
Then, there was one about his own bout with death, saying, "I was diagnosed with a rare deadly cancer one month before my sixth child was born, but with skilled doctors and God's grace, I survived."
Now the Republican, in the middle of a fight for his political life, has gone negative against his Democratic opponent, Congressman Conor Lamb of Mt. Lebanon.
Rothfus Ad: "Lamb voted to protect criminals hiding in sanctuary cities. Who is Conor Lamb protecting? A mouse."
KDKA political editor Jon Delano showed Rothfus his attack ad and asked, "What's the message here?"
"The message here is that Conor Lamb has attempted to portray himself as a moderate or even a conservative," Rothfus said. "I even hear Republicans saying he is a moderate or conservative. The idea is to say no. He is one of the Washington liberals."
So liberal, says Rothfus, that he voted to spend tax dollars on the Preble meadow mouse.
"Conor Lamb voted with the liberals and said, no, we're going to spend money on that mouse," Rothfus said.
In response, Abby Murphy of the Lamb campaign said, "Speaker Ryan has refused to let this Congress vote on some of the most important issues facing our country, like infrastructure and the safety of our children, but he finds plenty of time to gut the Endangered Species Act."
Rothfus says there's a dispute as to whether this mouse is really endangered, while Lamb says Congress should focus on bigger issues.
Lamb Ad: "We did it. You did it ... It was the longest of long shots. A marine who had never held office up against the most powerful special interests in the nation."
Lamb launched his own ads in early September, all positive about himself.
Lamb ad: "People ask me all the time, 'Conor, why don't you take contributions from corporate PACs?'"
No word when, if at all, Lamb goes negative on Rothfus.
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