New Barrett gov’s race ad focuses on attack outside state fair, shows images of bloodied face

By Scott Bauer, AP
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Barrett gov’s race ad focuses on state fair attack

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released a campaign ad in the Wisconsin governor’s race Thursday that focuses on his brutal attack outside last year’s state fair and even includes images of his bloodied face.

Barrett, who faces only token opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, has previously shied away from talking during his campaign about the beating he suffered when he intervened in a domestic dispute. Republican candidate Scott Walker has been criticized for an ad in which he dons boxing gloves and talks about Barrett “throwing punches at me.”

Walker has said the spot was a metaphor and was not intended to refer to Barrett’s attack.

Barrett does not speak in his new minute-long ad titled “Stand Up.” Instead, his wife Kris describes getting the phone call from her sister-in-law that night in August 2009 telling her of the attack.

Barrett, 56, suffered injuries to his head, mouth, face and hand in last year’s attack. He was trying to help a screaming woman who was struggling to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from being taken by the child’s drunk, belligerent father.

The ad also features news footage from the night of the beating as well as clips of the West Allis police chief describing how Barrett was “viciously attacked by a desperate individual.” A picture of Barrett’s bloodied face appears on the screen for about five seconds.

“I know and our kids know that their dad will always stand up for them,” Kris Barrett says at the end of the ad as Barrett is shown walking down the street with her, their four children and their dog. “And he will always stand up for Wisconsin.”

Doctors said Barrett may never regain full use of his right hand which has been operated on three times. The attacker, who beat Barrett with a metal object, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Barrett’s campaign spokesman Phil Walzak said the new spot was running statewide. The campaign would not say how large the buy was. Stations in Madison and Milwaukee confirmed the ad was running but would not say how large the buy was.

Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, had no comment on Barrett’s new ad.

Republican candidate Mark Neumann’s spokesman Chris Lato issued a statement saying, “Along with the rest of Wisconsin, Mark believes Tom Barrett deserves praise for that selfless act.”

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