Senate races

GOP uses Obama’s words on economy against Dems in new ads

Republicans have been working to nationalize House and Senate races all cycle, and now they’re using President Obama’s own comments to make the argument for them.

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown have all launched ads and Web videos featuring Obama’s proclamation that, “I’m not on the ballot … but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot, every one of them.”

{mosads}The ads tell voters that, as much as their Democratic opponents want to convince them otherwise, their vote this fall is one for or against the president and the Democratic Party’s agenda.

The McConnell ad notes that “Alison [Lundergan] Grimes [D] says this election is not about her support for Barack Obama and his failed polices,” over a clip from a Grimes campaign ad that was meant to distance her from the president and featured the candidate shooting a gun.

“But Obama himself says a vote for Alison is a vote for his policies,” a narrator ads, before the Obama clip plays.

On-screen text reads: “The war on coal, ObamaCare, massive spending and debt.”

The Roberts ad hits on the same theme, opening by highlighting “trillions in debt …ObamaCare” and steep unemployment, before shifting to Obama’s comments. The ad declares independent Greg Orman, who is leading Roberts in the polls, is “Obama’s candidate for Senate in Kansas.”

“A vote for Greg Orman is a vote for the Obama agenda,” the ad concludes.

The Brown video opens with a clip of the candidate at a campaign event during which he says “we need to send a message” to Obama’s “number one footsoldier,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and then cuts to Obama’s comments.

Obama made the comments during a Thursday address on the economy at Northwestern University meant to make the case that Americans are better off now than they were six years ago.

But the president’s job approval was at 42 percent nationwide in the most recent Gallup survey, and it’s much lower in the key battleground states where control of the Senate will be won or lost. Democrats’ midterm strategy has hinged on their ability to localize their races and make the debate one between two individual candidates and their records, rather than Obama and the Democratic Party more broadly.

Republicans believe that in 13 words, he undermined that argument entirely.

Tags 2014 Kansas Senate Race 2014 Kentucky Senate Race 2014 New Hampshire Senate Race Alison Lundergan Grimes Greg Orman Jeanne Shaheen Mitch McConnell Pat Roberts Scott Brown

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