Sen. Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE's (D-N.C.) first ad attacks potential GOP opponent Thom TillisThom R. TillisGOP senators unveil bill to give Congress control of consumer bureau budget GOP senators to Trump: We support 'maintaining and expanding' Gitmo Senators to Mattis: Push for exemption to Trump immigration order MORE for comments appearing to support ObamaCare and for his former staffers’ affairs with lobbyists.
The radio spot released Thursday uses a clip from an interview Tillis gave in February saying ObamaCare “is a great idea.” It cuts out the rest of his sentence, which in full was, “It’s a great idea that can’t be paid for.”
“So Thom Tillis thinks he can attack Kay Hagan over something he calls ‘a great idea’? Watch close,” the ad says. “Seems Thom Tillis wants it both ways.”
“After more than $10 million has been spent by outside groups looking to defeat Kay, it’s time that Tillis’ record is set straight,” the Hagan campaign said in a press release.
The ad then turns to affairs that came to light in 2012 between two Tillis staffers and lobbyists. One of the staffers was his chief of staff, who was sharing an apartment with Tillis at the time. Tillis says he wasn’t aware of the affair.
The ad criticizes the fact that the staffers received severance pay when they resigned.
“Instead of firing them, Tillis arranged for golden parachutes, paid for by taxpayers, worth over $19,000," the ad says. “Our tax dollars bailing out the indiscretions of Thom Tillis's staff. Those may be values, but they're not North Carolina's."
Hagan is one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in 2014 as the GOP fights to win control of the Senate.
The effort could be at attempt to hurt Tillis ahead of the May 6 GOP primary election. If no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote that day, he'd be forced into a time-consuming and costly runoff.
The latest numbers from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling give Tillis a 3-point lead over Tea Party-backed opponent Greg Brannon, 18 percent to 15 percent.
Senate Majority PAC, the leading super PAC for Senate Democrats, also launched an ad this week attacking Tillis over his former staffers’ affairs.