Retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, former Gov. Linda Lingle’s campaign manager for U.S. Senate, released a new video on Friday praising U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and claiming that because of his seniority he would retain power no matter which party controls the Senate after the November elections.
In the video, Lee acknowledges that Inouye would lose the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee if Republicans take control, but he claims that as ranking member of the committee — and with his seniority — the Hawaii Democrat would still have influence.
“Anything else said is disrespectful to the senior senator,” Lee said.
Lee cited Inouye’s partnership with the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and suggested that the Republican Lingle would be a similar partner. Lingle is facing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, in November.
Inouye, in a statement, called the video “grossly misleading:”
I am not supporting Linda Lingle’s Senate candidacy and I would ask General Lee to stop using this misleading ad. Neither General Lee nor former Governor Lingle discussed this advertisement with me. If they had, I would have objected because it is grossly misleading and suggests a relationship that has never existed.
To claim that Governor Lingle could replace my brother Ted Stevens is outrageous and as I have said previously, Linda Lingle is no Ted Stevens. After watching the ad, I would like to state that I am Daniel K. Inouye and I do not approve that message.