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Fiorina fires off a new ad, Boxer bites back

The primary election hasn’t happened yet, but U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is starting to rise to some of the barbs leveled by the Republicans vying to challenge her in November.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina launched her fifth ad of the season today, a 30-second spot called “Safe” which attacks Boxer’s national security record:

“Californians cannot risk another six years of Barbara Boxer’s misguided priorities, ineffectiveness and extreme partisanship,” Fiorina campaign spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said in a release announcing the ad. “While the men and women serving in our armed forces are fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barbara Boxer seems to think that climate change is the real threat to our national security. This is one of many examples of her out-of-step priorities, which make her a vulnerable incumbent this year.”

Boxer’s campaign hasn’t responded to many ads so far, but it jumped all over this one.

“Fiorina’s latest negative attack ad once again gets it wrong,” Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said in a statement e-mailed this afternoon. “There is a clear choice in this race when it comes to strengthening national security and fighting terrorism. Senator Boxer has successfully advocated for tough measures to protect America – from sanctions on Iran to allowing specially-trained pilots to have guns in the cockpit. Meanwhile, Fiorina has a troubling record on protecting Americans from terrorism. She supports allowing people on the no-fly list to buy guns and during her tenure at HP the company was trading with Iran, a State Sponsor of Terror.”

UPDATE @ 3:31 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Now the California Democratic Party is getting in on the act, too. “Fiorina is in no position to assail Senator Boxer’s record,” communications director Tenoch Flores said in an e-mail. “After all we’re talking about someone who is so far out of the mainstream that she believes it’s ok to let people on the no-fly list walk into a gun show and purchase an assault rifle. That’s wrong-headed and dangerous.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.