WASHINGTON--GOP Illinois House members Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo are pitted against each other in the March primary, with Kinzinger running in a lot of new turf thanks to redistricting. Tonight, the two face off in a 16th congressional district debate in Wateska. Kinzinger has a new ad out pitching himself as a "new breed" of conservative lawmaker.
His ad hits Manzullo for backing the Obama administration's "cash for clunkers" program, one part of the Obama team efforts to bail out the U.S. car industry. The 16th district includes Belvidere, which has a giant Chrysler assembly plant. A few weeks ago, Chrysler announced that the revived Dodge Dart will be manufactured in the giant Belvidere plant.
In a Monday conference call, I asked Kinzinger if attacking the clunker program will help him in Belvidere--and he said it would.
Both Kinzinger and Manzullo are very conservative. Kinzinger said the Tea Party is split in this primary.