Baldwin ran an ad this week... saying Thompson personally profited from the attacks by making $3 million from a health care firm he led that scored a government contract to treat first responders.Here's Baldwin's ad:
Now, that ad was provoked by a Thompson an ad that assailed Baldwin for voting against a resolution to honor the 9/11 victims. Baldwin did vote for other bills honoring the victims when they also included health care spending provisions related to first responders. Here's Tommy's ad:
At last night's debate, Baldwin said "I am outraged that Tommy Thompson would question my patriotism." Thompson said he was not questioning her patriotism. He was questioning her "judgment."
I don't have a transcript or video of the debate, but Tommy had a long segment in which he talked about all that he did (as Health Secretary) on 9/11.
The Thompson campaign hosted a conference call Wednesday afternoon with George Pataki, who was governor of New York at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Pataki praised Thompson as a "force of nature" in responding to the tragedy.
"He was the first member of the Cabinet to come to Ground Zero, where I had the privilege of talking with him," said Pataki. "And from the early moments, he activated -- in a way that I will always be grateful for -- the nation's medical response efforts to help us."
When a reporter pointed out that Baldwin voted many times for other bills honoring and helping 9/11 first responders -- and clearly stated why she opposed the one bill being highlighted by Thompson -- Pataki nevertheless defended the criticisms.
"It's not misleading at all," he said of Thompson's ad. "She was one of a handful who voted against a strong bipartisan resolution. I don't understand the logic of her explanation."