Senate Dems target potential GOP candidates over ObamaCare repeal

Senate Dems target potential GOP candidates over ObamaCare repeal
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The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm is targeting potential Republican candidates for voicing support for the ObamaCare repeal effort.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) expanded its healthcare-related website on Monday to include information about possible 2018 GOP Senate candidates who said they backed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Party campaign operatives from both sides are using Congress's current two-week recess to begin testing the waters for next year's midterm elections.

The updated DSCC website, which was shown first to The Hill, includes videos or quotes from 13 potential GOP contenders in eight states where President Trump won: Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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In Indiana, GOP Rep. Todd Rokita, who is considering taking on Democratic Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator Indiana New Members 2019 MOREcalled the bill “good legislation.” And another possible candidate in the state, GOP Rep. Luke Messer, also signaled support for the bill a day before it was pulled from the House floor.

The website also targets Sens. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 Cortez Masto named Dem Senate campaign chairwoman Nevada New Members 2019 MORE (R-Nev.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump’s relationship with Saudi crown prince under pressure Graham urges McConnell to allow vote on bill to protect Mueller MORE (R-Ariz.) — Democrats’ top Senate targets in 2018 — over healthcare reform. And the DSCC launched a minute-long digital spot, “Caught on Tape,” that compiles all of the clips of those potential candidates.

“As they return home amidst their healthcare fiasco and broken promises, these potential Republican candidates can’t escape their support for a toxic plan that makes older Americans pay five times more for care, strips coverage from millions and raises costs for middle-class families — all to give another tax break to big insurance companies,” said DSCC spokesman David Bergstein.

“And if any of these potential candidates decide they actually want to run for anything besides dog-catcher after their humiliating healthcare defeat, they’ll see these clips again.”  

Republicans are trying to revive their legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Vice President Pence last week met with conservative and centrist Republican lawmakers on a potential compromise. But lawmakers headed back to their districts for the recess with negotiations apparently stalled.

During the recess, both Democrats and Republicans are using ObamaCare and the House GOP’s repeal bill as the focus of attack ads.

Save My Care, a liberal group working to preserve ObamaCare, on Monday unveiled an ad buy worth at least $1 million targeting seven House Republicans who supported the GOP's repeal bill.

Also on Monday, the National Republican Congressional Committee launched a series of digital billboards targeting five vulnerable House Democrats over their support for ObamaCare.