New anti-Hagel group targets vulnerable Senate Democrats with TV ads

A new group that’s joined in the campaign against former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelIntel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment' Tax cut complete, hawks push for military increase MORE (R-Neb.), President Obama’s nominee to be the next Defense secretary, is airing TV ads targeting vulnerable Democratic senators.

Americans for a Strong Defense, which launched last week, released five television ads on Tuesday in states where Democrats are running for reelection in 2014, urging them to vote against Hagel's confirmation.

The ads will run in the states of Sens. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuProject Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible CNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' MORE (D-La.), Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganPolitics is purple in North Carolina Democrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 North Carolina will be a big battleground state in 2020 MORE (D-N.C.), Mark BegichMark Peter BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-Alaska) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

The group's spokesman, Ryan Williams, would not say how much money was going into the ad campaign, but said the ads will run on broadcast and cable in each state.

Americans for a Strong Defense is the latest anti-Hagel group to jump into the campaign against his nomination. The American Future Fund, Emergency Committee for Israel and Log Cabin Republicans have all run advertisements against the former Nebraska senator.

About a half-dozen Republican senators have said they will oppose his nomination. No Democrats have come out against Hagel, but many have raised concerns about his positions on Israel, Iran and gay rights.

The American Future Fund put out an ad against Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the No. 3 Senate Democrat known for his pro-Israel views, after he said he’d back Hagel.

The Americans for a Strong Defense ads claim that Hagel wants “an end to our nuclear program” and “devastating defense cuts.” They ask viewers to tell the targeted senator to vote against Hagel’s confirmation.

A source close to the Hagel confirmation said the ad was “demonstrably false.”

“Hagel has made it clear that he is committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, for example,” the source said. “But this ad purposefully distorts his record to try to score cheap political points."

Hagel continues to meet with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing next week. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.) said he was meeting with Hagel Tuesday afternoon. McCain said he was going to ask Hagel about his statements on Israel and opposition to the Iraq surge.