McMillen, Gilchrest trade barbs on campaign tactics Attack ads mark 1st District race

October 28, 1992|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest charged in a TV debate last night that his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tom McMillen, has engaged in a negative campaign.

"If this is not negative, I don't know what is," Mr. Gilchrest said at the end of a half-hour debate on WBFF, Fox Channel 45, holding up a sheet picturing a thumb-sucking6p2, child with the words, "Who would lie to this child?"

The flier says Mr. Gilchrest promised to donate his $35,000 congressional pay increase to charity, but, "Two years later, he's still holding the money."

The ad was paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and McMillen for Congress.

"Disregard negative campaigns," Mr. Gilchrest said in his closing statement. He urged voters in the 1st Congressional District to elect a "non-partisan politician."

Mr. Gilchrest said later that he has kept his pledge to donate his raise, saying he has donated thousands of dollars to homeless shelters and other charities in his congressional district.

"We've campaigned on the issues," Mr. McMillen responded.

Later, he charged that Mr. Gilchrest broke a no-negative campaign pledge by airing radio ads that lampooned Mr. McMillen's acceptance of free travel and lodging for private speaking engagements.

Throughout the debate, Mr. McMillen continued repeated charges that Mr. Gilchrest backed cuts in Medicare funds. "My opponent voted to slash Medicare," said the Crofton congressman.

Mr. Gilchrest has angrily denied the charge and said the Democrat had "caused fear, stress and anxiety" among senior citizens.

Mr. McMillen also charged that his Republican opponent voted to cut defense jobs in Maryland, including at Westinghouse.

Mr. Gilchrest acknowledged that he has voted to cut defense spending, saying Congress must help such contractors switch from military to civilian spending.

"The Cold War is over," he said.

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