Campaign ads

Campaign ads

Rep. Flake defends McCain, hits former colleague Hayworth on spending

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) goes to bat for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and goes after McCain's primary opponent, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), in a new 60-second radio ad.

In the ad, Flake says McCain deserves the "lion's share" of credit for putting Congress on the brink of banning earmarks. He also says Hayworth (whom Flake doesn't refer to by name, but rather as McCain's "opponent") lost his way on the issue when he was in Congress.

In a direct shot at Hayworth, Flake also suggests that the former congressman lost reelection in 2006 because of that issue.

"Republicans including Sen. McCain's opponent lost their bearings on spending," Flake says. "They loaded up bills with pork barrel projects, and the voters punished Republicans by putting Democrats in charge."

It's a notable attack, given that Flake and Hayworth were colleagues.


Both sides up with ads in Murtha special

Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz are both up with their first ads of the special election for Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.) seat.

Critz's ad focuses on his role in an effort to rescue nine trapped miners in 2002. He repeatedly mentions the late congressman, whom he worked for as district director.

Burns's ad focuses on his upbringing in Johnstown, Pa., and his conservative stances on abortion and guns.

Both men appear to be going to their base right away, with Critz hoping to attract voters who would have voted for Murtha. There will be a lot of them on special election day, May 18, because Democratic turnout is expected to be high for contested governor and Senate primaries. Critz appears to be wagering on that advantage.

Burns, meanwhile, seems to be appealing to the district's cultural conservatism.

These ads will be most voters' first glimpses at the two candidates.


Kentucky Senate hopeful uses 9/11 attack images in ad

A new ad from Kentucky GOP Senate frontrunner Rand Paul features images of the Sept. 11 attacks and hits Trey Grayson for running a "shameful TV ad."

The somber ad begins with images of a burning World Trade Center and smoldering Pentagon and proceeds to go after Grayson for a recent ad in which Grayson accused Paul of opposing wire-tapping of terrorists and the Patriot Act.

"Now, a desperate Trey Grayson is using Sept. 11 to attack my integrity and my patriotism," Paul says. "Trey Grayson, you're shameful TV ad is a lie, and it dishonors you."

Using images of 9/11 in an ad got President Bush in some trouble in 2004. Since then, it has been used sparingly.

The DSCC was forced to change a Massachusetts special election ad earlier this year that showed an image of the World Trade Center while talking about Wall Street greed.


EMILY's List starts a support Pelosi website

EMILY's List, a power PAC that backs female candidates, has started a website to support Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after the hail of criticism she came under for the healthcare bill.

The group said in a statement the site was started specificially in response to RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who said: "Let's start getting Nancy ready for the firing line this November." invites people to fill out an online petition to thank Pelosi for her work on the legislation.

"Thanks to you, the House passed historic health care legislation this week – progress we could not have achieved without you at the helm," the petition reads. "Thank you for everything you’re doing to make America healthier, safer, and better for all of us."

It could prove to be an uplifting birthday gift for the Speaker, who turns 70 today. It's also a strong show of support from a power abortion-rights PAC. Pelosi supports abortion-rights but several liberal groups complained about language in the healthcare bill that restricted federal funding of abortions.

In today's edition of The Hill, Aaron Blake examines liberals attacks on Democratic candidates regarding their healthcare votes.


DCCC hits Cao's healthcare vote with robocall

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is going after Rep. Joseph Cao's (R-La.) healthcare vote with robocalls.

The calls, which are going out to tens of thousands of New Orleans-area homes, feature Congressional Black Caucus PAC Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) laying into Cao for his "no" vote.

“On Sunday, I was proud to stand with President Barack Obama to pass a historical health insurance reform bill," Meeks says. "I thought that you should know that your congressman, Joseph Cao, unfortunately voted against President Obama's health insurance reforms that will improve coverage for nearly 200,000 of his constituents and extend coverage for over 50,000 who don't have it now. Congressman Cao stood with the insurance companies and Republicans in Washington instead of standing up for hardworking families he represents.”

Cao's district is a majority black district and is arguably the Democrats' top pickup opportunity this year. State Reps Cedric Richmond and Juan LaFonta are currently running.


Kentucky Democrat paints primary opponent as a 'Dr. No' on healthcare

Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, like many other Democrats in tough primaries, is making healthcare an issue.

And he's doing it by trying to tie primary opponent Dan Mongiardo to Kentucky's other senator, Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Conway's ad calls Mongiardo "Senator No" and "Dr. No" for saying he would have opposed the healthcare bill. The ad features footage of McConnell citing his opposition to the legislation, which was signed into law on Tuesday.

Washingtonians may be reminded of another "Senator No" however: Sen. Tom Coburn. The Oklahoma Republican, who's a doctor by trade, has earned the moniker for his constant holds and objections to legislation.

Conway has a reason to hit Mongiardo hard. The latest Daily Kos/R2000 poll has Mongiardo up 16 points, leading 47 to 31.

The primary is May 18.


'The Republican Obama'

Marco Rubio will always have "The Hug" to tie Charlie Crist to President Obama. Now, Crist is calling Rubio "the Republican Obama."

Crist's new TV ad cites a New Republic article that labeled Rubio as such. It goes on to rehash the series of stories on Rubio's personal finance troubles.

It's a savvy commercial. Don't count Crist out just yet.


Cornyn: 'It's not over yet'

The NRSC sent this video to grassroots supporters this week, seeking to calm some fears about party leaders' stances on a healthcare repeal and encourage supporters to keep up the fight.

The video tries to break down the reconciliation process into understandable terms and assure that a difference can still be made.

"Senate Republicans will fight this power grab, and we'll fight to make sure you're voice is heard," Cornyn assures.


Caucuses looming, Bennet launches first ad

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is up with his first TV ad, on the eve of the all-important precinct caucuses in Colorado.

This is probably the first time many Coloradoans have seen or heard Bennet, so don't underestimate the importance of this ad.

Bennet has often been accused of a lack of charisma. This ad doesn't do much to fight the perception, but it does lay out some of the appointee's ethics proposals.