Condoleezza Rice Backs Sullivan in Alaska Senate Race

Condoleezza Rice Backs Sullivan in Alaska Senate Race
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Condoleezza Rice has joined the midterm election fray, backing a former State Department colleague running for the U.S. Senate in Alaska. In a video sponsored by the influential conservative super PAC American Crossroads, Rice touts the credentials of Republican Dan Sullivan.

“Dan Sullivan is tireless in service for his country,” the former secretary of state says in the 32-second TV spot.

Sullivan served as Alaska’s attorney general under Govs. Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell. Prior to that, he was assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs during part of Rice’s tenure heading the nation’s diplomatic arm.

The video—a $180,000 ad buy, according to American Crossroads—features Rice defending the GOP challenger against recent attacks against him by Put Alaska First, a PAC supporting the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

One attack ad, titled “Sullivan’s Real Home,” charges the candidate with being insufficiently Alaskan for having been born and raised in Ohio and  for owning a million-dollar home in a “swanky D.C. suburb” while claiming voter residency in the 49th state.

In response, Rice says Sullivan “faces political attacks because he wanted his family by his side,” adding, “Remember that serving our country required some time in our capital. Dan will be a great senator because he loves and cares for the state of Alaska and because he’s a great family man.”

Sullivan is vying with Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell for the GOP nomination. A new Rasmussen poll shows Sullivan and Begich tied in a hypothetical matchup, and Treadwell leading the incumbent by four percentage points.

Rice has campaigned for candidates in the past—most prominently for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney—and made a TV spot for Meg Whitman in her failed 2010 run for California governor.

It is a reunion of sorts for the Stanford professor and another former Bush administration official: American Crossroads’ co-founder Karl Rove was a senior adviser to the president.

Jose R. Gonzalez is an intern for RealClearPolitics.


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