New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt isn't high on anyone's list of this cycle's vulnerable Democrats but that didn't preclude him from the Democratic National Committee's recent healthcare ad blitz.
The DNC's seven figure national TV ad buy was meant to bolster vulnerable members who voted for the healthcare reform bill. But the spot is also playing in Holt's district and Republicans are calling it a sign of weakness on the part of the six-term incumbent.
"If the Democrats truly felt Holt was safe, they wouldn't be spending this kind of money before the calendar even hits April defending Holt's vote on this awful legislation," said Chris Russell, a spokesman for Republican Scott Sipprelle, who's vying to challenge Holt.
Russell said the DNC spent $73,803 to run the 30-second ad on cable in Monmouth, Middlesex and Mercer counties. A DNC spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of the ad buy.
Sipprelle recently released his own TV ad attacking the healthcare bill. "In November, let's hold Rush Holt accountable," he said in the 30-second spot.
Holt's campaign said the bill will "strengthen healthcare."
"FactCheck.org has already cited Wall Street dealmaker Scott Sipprelle's ad as full of distortions.," Sarah Steward, Holt's campaign manager, said in a statement. "Unlike Mr. Sipprelle, Representative Holt takes neither the people he serves, nor the facts, for granted."