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Republican Senate hopeful Roy Blunt has been elected to Congress seven times. And he's been labeled as a "Washington Insider" with deep lobbyist connections and tainted political networks.
The man who has himself under attack as a Washington insider began his political career from a far different background.
He'd been a teacher in southwest Missouri, Green County's clerk and served as Missouri's Secretary of State before he moved to Washington as a House member in 1997.
Since then, his Democratic opponent has portrayed him as having fallen into the lobbyist culture of Capitol Hill.
He's raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for trade groups and corporations.
In addition, he's developed strong ties to the lobbyist industry.
At a debate held in Lake Ozark, opposing senatorial candidate Robin Carnahan was asked to say something nice about Blunt.
"When he was here in Missouri he was a terrific public servant, he did a lot of good things for us, which is why I'm disappointed it hasn't worked out the same way in Washington," she said.
Carnahan spent most of her time at the debate attacking Blunt's Washington history and corporate networks.Yet Blunt deflected her criticisms, saying her accusations actually make him a better candidate. At the debate Blunt says..
"Our jobs plan is over a hundred pages. Secretary Carnahan's jobs plan is under five hundred words. You could tweet her jobs plan in four tweets," Blunt said.
Blunt has already been elected seven times to Congress and has worked six years as the House Minority Whip as Blunt promotes on his own YouTube account:
REPRESENTATIVE: "..The distinguished minority whip who is member of the committee on leave. Mr. Blunt of Missouri."
SPEAKER: "The distinguished whip gentlemen from Missouri is recognized."
BLUNT: "I thank the gentlemen for yielding and for his hard work.."
With a long history in politics Carnahan's campaign has labeled Blunt as a "Washington Insider".MU political science professor William Horner says...
"That term has come to take a negative meaning for a lot of people. And it's easy to campaign against the Washington Insider. Even though, that's ultimately what you want to become if you are running for office really," Horner said.
Part of the insider charges against Blunt have been tied to the Missouri Republican's ties to former House GOP leader Tom Delay.
DeLay, nicknamed "The Hammer" because he could forcefully get votes for the Republican party, identified Blunt as his protégé.
"There is a such thing as passing the torch or passing the baton. Well I want to pass the hammer to the new Republican Whip..." Delay said.
After DeLay's indictment, Blunt spoke in defense of Congressman DeLay:
"I think largely because of his effectiveness as a leader he became a target. We all believe that he will return once this indictment is out of the way to be the leader again. That's what our rules call for," he said.
Following the indictment, Blunt ascended the ranks of the Republican party.
Since mid-August, he has been above 50 percent in every poll taken for the race of retiring Senator Kit Bond's seat.
In an endorsement speech, Bond says...
"Roy is one who will take Missouri ideas and Missouri priorities to Washington. Rather than being somebody who comes back from Washington and tells us what the President wants or what his bureaucrats want to do," Bond said.
One of Blunt's campaign ads speaks directly to Bond's support...
ANNOUNCER:"July 8, 2010 Barack Obama is raising money for Robin Carnahan. Why?"
OBAMA: "I need another vote. It'd be helpful."
ANNOUNCER: "He knows Robin Carnahan will rubber stamp the Pelosi-Reid-Obama liberal agenda. A stimulus bill that grows government not jobs. More government control of healthcare and now a new energy tax."
OBAMA: "It would have already been done if I had Robin Carnahan there."
ANNOUNCER: "Roy Blunt he'll work for Missouri not Barack Obama."
BLUNT: "I'm Roy Blunt and I approve this message."
Blunt's campaign declined requests for an interview with Blunt for this report.
From the state Capitol, I'm Amanda Macias.