Max Cleland throws support behind Doolittle challenger |

Max Cleland throws support behind Doolittle challenger

A retired U.S. Air Force veteran running in the primary June 6 joined forces with a military comrade in Fair Oaks on Monday to try to oust Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville.

Democratic Lt. Col. Charlie Brown invited former Georgia Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, another decorated vet who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War, at a Brown for Congress Campaign rally. The duo sought to highlight the message that government needs to keep its promise to U.S. veterans. Brown, who spent 26 years in the Air Force, met Cleland last year on a Band of Brothers event in Washington, D.C.

Cleland said he’s joined the Fair Oaks candidate on the rally circuit because he’s “a guy of the utmost integrity.” The two took a few shots at Doolittle’s alleged ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has become a symbol of congressional corruption.

“I’m ready for a fight,” Brown said Monday before the rally. Brown jumped ahead to the general election in November because he believes he’ll win the primary in June. His campaign platform is more about Doolittle than Democratic primary challengers.

“My goal is to have people learn what Congress is not doing for them,” he said. “I won’t match Doolittle on raising money. It will be extremely tough. A year ago, we started to tackle the issues. My family and supporters were in the minority. But a funny thing started happening: We started raising money.”

Brown’s differences with Doolittle are stark and stay within party lines. Brown supports a pullout of military troops from Iraq.

“Mistakes have been made,” he said.

Doolittle’s spokesman Richard Robinson said he’s not surprised by the barrage of criticism against the congressman.

“I think it will be a tough and spirited fight in the primary. But if people want the same, old liberal policies, they’ll elect Brown,” he said. Robinson also claimed the swing to the left is the reason Cleland was defeated in 2002 by Rep. Saxby Chambliss. Cleland took over Sam Nunn’s seat upon his retirement.

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