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Johnny Isakson's first attack ad accuses opponent of hypocrisy on trade

Who woulda thought that trade, of all issues, would be the spark that finally jolted Georgia's sleepy U.S. Senate race to life?

Taking a break from his more positive ads focusing on his work in Washington, Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson recently unveiled his first attack ad of the cycle.

The 30-second spot, which has been airing in media markets across the state, accuses his Democratic opponent, investment manager Jim Barksdale, of being a hypocrite when it comes to trade.

Here's a partial transcript:

"Look under Jim Barksdale's hat and you'll find it: Hypocrisy.  

Barksdale made a fortune from companies that outsourced Georgia jobs to China and Mexico. He's now using that fortune to buy negative ads against Johnny Isakson.  

But Barksdale, who made millions from Wall Street, claims capitalism just doesn't work. Well, it worked for him, and that's hypocrisy."  

Isakson's spot is a direct response to Barksdale's most recent ad, which employed a distinctly Bernie Sanders-esque theme by targeting the Republican's support for what was described as "every bad foreign trade deal" since he was elected.

A Barksdale spokesman said Isakson is "pursuing the agenda of corporate lobbyists."

"The latest false ad from Senator Isakson is what we've come to expect from a coward who refuses to debate head-to-head and then misleads voters by taking quotes out-of-context to score political points.  As an investment manager, Jim has a fiduciary responsibility to grow and safeguard retirement savings.  When Jim is entrusted with a job by folks, he works hard for them and only them, unlike Senator Isakson who double-talks voters to fill his campaign coffers."  

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.