Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s opponent in the 2nd Congressional District race says Jackson is distorting her record in a new radio ad.
Debbie Halvorson hasn't really held back in her remarks about her 2nd Congressional District opponent. And she didn't stop Tuesday.
At a scheduled news conference teased to call out Jesse Jackson Jr.'s "fiction" and "habit of lying with no challenge," Halvorson lashed out and defended her record.
"Mr. Jackson is running a false ad in an attempt to distort and deflect his voting record against the president. While I voted more than 90 percent of the time with the president ... he is telling people in a radio ad that I voted against the president 88 times. He's lying and he's distorting my record and I will not stand for it," she said at Chicago's Hotel Allegro.
In the 60 second radio ad that debuted last weekend, Jackson says he and the president "are working together, fighting for good jobs paying good wages."
But "Debbie Halvorson has a different agenda," says an announcer. "Halvorson voted with the Republicans, opposing President Obama and health care for all, and she voted with the Republicans and the NRA in stopping gun violence. Halvorson voted with the Republicans and against President Obama 88 times."
Halvorson said the ad is nonsense and recalled how she and Obama, then a candidate for the Illinois Senate, campaigned with her in the late 90s. She said she continued to work closely with Obama and said it was ultimately her close relationship with him that caused her to lose a re-election campaign to a Republican.
Despite the loss, it's a voting record of which she said she's proud.
Halvorson conceded there were times she voted against the president but said those votes may have been for procedural matters and that "sometimes we have to cross the aisle and take a look at how it is to move this country forward."
"I'm not a rubber stamp for anybody," she said, adding: "Rep. Jackson is not a friend or a legislative friend to the president and he isn't a friend to the unemployed or to working families."
Halvorson said the ad is Jackson's attempt "to deflect from his own record as the worst among Democrat members from Illinois."
This isn't the first time Halvorson shot back at Jackson.
In response this month to his claims about a Texas-backed Super PAC assisting Halvorson in the race, she blamed him for the group's attack.
“He thinks the Super PAC is trying to buy a House seat," Halvorson said, referring to ethics committee allegations that Jackson offered campaign donations for Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat. "I think the question is did he try to buy a Senate seat?”
Jackson has said he's moving past the ethics investigation and looks to Newt Gingrich's presidential race for inspiration that anything is possible.
"When I think about those who have tripped and stumbled and bounced back – we measure champions not by how quickly they get knocked down, but how quickly they get up," Jackson said. "This too shall pass. This cloud shall pass.”
A billboard popped up in Chicago this month featuring Jackson with Obama and a message reading, "Jackson for Congress: Together, fighting for you." Last week, the big campaign sign on the podium featured Obama's name on top of Jackson's.