HOUSTON – Two weeks before the Texas primary, the candidates are filling the airwaves with attack ads. Only it’s not their opponents they’re attacking.
They’re going after President Barack Obama.
Bob Hall literally wears the American flag as he works the polls. He’s running for precinct chairman – a pretty low-level job. But when he looks at candidates higher on the ballot, he knows what he wants.
“I’m looking for conservative politicians that are looking out for the folks,” he said.
What he and his fellow Republicans are getting from their candidates is a lot of ads promising to defend the Second Amendment.
And whatever job they’re running for, there’s one man many of them are running against.
Obama’s not on the ballot, but he’s all over the airwaves in Republican campaign ads.
“I’ll never stop fighting against Obama’s attacks on Texas,” one ad said.
One Texas politician literally takes up arms as he vows to fight the nation’s president.
“What are they trying to do? They’re trying to get as far to the right as they can possibly,” Bob Stein, KHOU’s political analyst, said. “They believe their base are tea party people, older white voters.”
Republican candidates know the president is deeply unpopular among GOP voters. A Texas Lyceum poll conducted last fall indicated a whopping 75 percent of the state’s Republicans rated Obama as a poor president.
People here have seen something like this before. A few years ago, Texas politicians were stumbling over themselves trying to ride President George W. Bush’s coattails.
Back at the polling place, none of this has much effect on Hall.
“I think it’s a lot of wasted money,” Hall said. “And I’d like to see more of those folks come down here and talk to the people.”
But as Texans cast their ballots, the loudest talking from the candidates is happening on TV.