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Getting childish? Rokita releases book attacking U.S. Senate opponent

April 25, 2018

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, who is running for U.S. Senate, is trying appeal to the childish side of voters.

Rokita’s campaign announced Wednesday that it has published a 16-page children's book titled “Oh, The Places You’ll Forget!” on digital publishing platform Issuu.

The book—which is modeled after the classic Dr. Seuss book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”—attacks one of Rokita's Republican primary opponents. With short rhymes and illustrations on each page, it talks about not being able to find U.S. Rep. Luke Messer in Indiana and accuses him of forgetting about Hoosiers.

“We’ve searched Columbus, Muncie and a local Richmond pub,” the book reads. “I heard someone saw him at a Virginia country club.”

Messer has been attacked during the campaign for moving to Virginia with his family after being elected to Congress in 2012, but Messer has defended that decision, saying he didn’t want to be a part-time dad to his three children because he knows first-hand what it's like to grow up without a father at home.

And Messer points out that he still owns a home in Greensburg with his mother.

“My opponents think somehow that’s going to cost me the election, and if it does, I won’t regret it,” Messer previously told IBJ. “But I don’t think it will.”

Rokita campaign spokesman Nathan Brand said the campaign has printed about 25 copies of the book in addition to publishing it online. When asked why the campaign decided to publish a children's book, Brand said "it is to highlight how Luke Messer moved to the swamp."

Messer's campaign has criticized Rokita for using "childish antics" less than two weeks before primary election day on May 8.

"Sometimes failing campaigns have to resort to childish antics to get attention," Messer campaign spokeswoman Molly Gillaspie said. "Luke's focused on running a real campaign about real issues, and we're confident that will be reflected in the polls."

The dedication page of the book says it is for Luke Messer, but the names of former senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh are also crossed out above Messer’s name. Lugar and Bayh were also criticized for living in Washington, D.C., instead of Indiana.

Messer, Rokita and former state lawmaker Mike Braun are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the fall.

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