Taking aim: Animal tales from the campaign trail

Amy Walter
Power Players

Politically Foul

It's not only campaign season; fall is also hunting season. Let the bullets and arrows fly!

Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester is in a tough battle for his seat against Republican Montana Representative Denny Rehlberg. In this red state, Tester can't count on Obama's coattails to pull him to victory. And, with approval ratings of Congress in the basement, Tester wants to talk less about his time in Washington and more about his time in the duck blind.

Tester has , er, mounted an effort to remind voters that he increased hunters' access on federal lands and fought Obama on hunting regulations by releasing an ad filled with endorsements from talking animal heads mounted to a hunter's  cabin wall.

"Jon stood up for hunters in Montana," a stuffed duck says in the ad. A grey wolf rug growls at the  duck, which goes on to says, "Jon even took on the Obama administration over gray wolves."

Both Tester and Rehlberg support the "Sportsmen Act of 2012" which would allows hunters to bring the heads of endangered, sport-hunted polar bears from Canada into the U.S., in addition to loosening certain hunting restrictions on federal land.

Speaking of unnecessary sacrifice, Republican John Dennis went to extremes with a horror movie style TV ad in his long shot bid to beat House Minority Leader  Nancy Pelosi in one of the most Democratic districts in America.

The ad depicts a Pelosi lookalike leading a group of monsters in a ceremony to sacrifice a lamb. "We must first gut the sacrifice," the Pelosi character declares. But before the sacrifice is allowed to take place, John Dennis appears and saves the lamb.

The animal most in danger this week, isn't even a real animal.

"I like PBS, I love Big Bird," Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in Wednesday night's debate. But "I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."

Obama fired back on the campaign trail Thursday.

"Thank goodness someone is finally getting tough on Big Bird. We didn't know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit. That's what we heard last night," Obama told supporters. When someone from the crowd expressed concern for other potential puppet victims, Obama responded, with a laugh, "Elmo, too?"

Forget Medicare and tax cuts. Voters want to know -- will Snuffaluffagus survive the carnage?  Hunters, steady your rifles!