Democratic Senate nominee Ted Strickland’s campaign launched a new digital ad against Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Ohio) that dubs him “the ultimate Washington insider.”
The two-minute spot, entitled “Beltway Rob,” will start airing Thursday through an ad buy worth at least $100,000.
The ad hits Portman over his support for trade agreements and ties him to the loss of jobs in the state.
“A ‘Dedicated Outsourcer,’ he’s been one of the nation’s biggest cheerleader for trade agreements that have cost millions of American jobs,” the ad’s narrator says.
The spot also blasts Portman for aligning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.) and refusing to hold a hearing for President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
The GOP senator told The Hill on Wednesday that he'll meet with Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee, but said he agrees with McConnell's plan to withhold hearings.
“And when the Republican leadership said they wouldn’t even hold hearings for a Supreme Court nominee, Rob Portman fell in line and did what he was told,” the narrator says. “Because falling in line is what you do when you’ve spent your whole life as a member of the club.”
Strickland's campaign is releasing the ad a day after Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super-PAC that spearheads the conservative donor network helmed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, launched a $2 million TV and digital ad buy targeting Strickland, the former Ohio governor.
Portman’s campaign also released new online banner ads on Thursday knocking Strickland over job losses in Ohio while serving as governor.
"It’s clear Ohio can't afford to go back to Ted Strickland's Ohio when the state ranked 48th in job creation and lost over 350,000 jobs, many to other states," Portman campaign manager Corry Bliss said in a statement. "Ted’s record is in stark contrast to Rob Portman who wakes up every day ready to fight to expand opportunity for Ohio workers through pro-growth policies for higher wages and more jobs."
Strickland and Portman, who both won their party’s nominations on Tuesday, will square off in the general election in what is expected to be one of the most competitive and expensive races this cycle.
The former governor has been criticized for lackluster fundraising, and Portman has a significant cash advantage.
Late 2015 polling showed Strickland ahead by a razor-thin margin. But when the two were pitted against each other in a Public Policy Polling survey last week, the race was a dead heat.