Jacky Rosen hits Dean Heller over health care in first negative ad

Jacky Rosen hits Dean Heller over health care in first negative ad
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHeller won't say if Biden won election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE’s (D-Nev.) Senate campaign is out with its first negative ad of the cycle, hitting Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTexas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Heller won't say if Biden won election Ex-Sen. Dean Heller announces run for Nevada governor MORE (R-Nev.) for backing the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal efforts last year.

The 60-second TV ad, which was shared first with The Hill, criticizes Heller for initially saying he wouldn’t support an ObamaCare repeal. It features a clip from his 2017 press conference with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), when he said he couldn’t support that legislation.

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The ad accuses Heller of caving to political pressure from President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and voting to repeal ObamaCare. Heller has defended his vote for a “skinny” repeal bill since it would not have touched Nevada’s expansion of Medicaid. The Senate ultimately rejected the measure.

Heller is the only GOP senator up for reelection this cycle in a state that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE won in 2016.

Friday's ad will also run on digital, in addition to appearing on a new microsite released by the campaign. Rosen's campaign has aired six other TV ads since April — all positive spots about the Nevada Democrat.

“Nevadans deserve a senator with the backbone to fight for their health care, not a spineless partisan politician who bends with the political winds and only looks out for himself,” said Rosen campaign manager Danny Kazin. “Sen. Heller has lost his way in Washington, he can’t be trusted to keep his promises or stand by his convictions, and Nevadans are going to hold him accountable.”

Heller's campaign defended the senator for keeping his promise on pushing for legislation that would protect Medicaid, calling ObamaCare an "abysmal failure."

"Dean Heller has fought to ensure that Nevadans have more choice and control over their health care and he wants to improve the health care system to make it more accessible and affordable for all Nevadans," Heller spokesman Keith Schipper said in a statement.

Heller and Rosen are locked in one of the most competitive Senate races of the cycle, which could determine which party controls the upper chamber next year.

Democrats are largely playing defense in the Senate, with 10 incumbents up for reelection in states that Trump won in 2016. The party has a few opportunities to flip a seat, with Nevada seen as Democrats' best chance to take back a seat.

Rosen again outpaced Heller in second-quarter fundraising. She raised more than $3.5 million, compared to Heller's $2.38 million. But he still has a cash advantage of $2 million.

Heller’s campaign released its own digital ad earlier this week that targets Rosen over her software consulting business. The ad comes after the Reno Gazette Journal reviewed public records and didn’t find a state or local business license for Rosen’s company, which was unnamed and only employed her between 1993 and 2002.

“This attack ad is an attempt by Jacky Rosen to distract from the devastating week she has had," Schipper said. "The revelation that Rosen made up a business and lied about her college degree has blown up across Nevada and Rosen still won’t say anything about the business she supposedly ‘built.'"

Updated at 3:05 p.m.