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GOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal

GOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal
© Greg Nash

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is targeting a handful of Democratic incumbents and candidates in five battleground states with a series of billboards zeroing in on "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal climate change plan.

The billboards, images of which were obtained first by The Hill, specifically target Democratic Sens. Gary PetersGary PetersThe Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today Two Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots US government caught blindsided over sophisticated cyber hack, experts say MORE (Mich.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Democrats expand Senate map, putting GOP on defense MORE (Minn.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Jeanne Shaheed (N.H.), as well as Democrat Mark Kelly, who’s vying for Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyCindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed MORE’s (R) seat in Arizona.

The cost of the ad buys are small, totaling just under five figures, according to a person familiar with the campaign.

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But taken together, the billboards offer the latest glimpse into the GOP’s strategy to maintain and expand their Senate majority in 2020 by tying Democrats to policy proposals that Republicans deem “socialist.”

“2020 Senate Democrat candidates will not get a pass on the extreme socialist policies being pushed by their party,” said Jesse Hunt, the communications director for the NRSC.

“Voters will be reminded of the millions of Americans that will lose jobs and private health insurance if Democrats take control.”

Medicare for All, in particular, has become a defining issue of the 2020 election cycle, as a growing number of Democrats have come to embrace the single-payer health care plan once considered a fringe proposal.

“Doug Jones silent as 2,472,100 Alabamians would lose their private health insurance,” one billboard in Alabama reads.

Jones is considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat heading into a reelection bid in 2020. The Alabama senator, who won his seat after narrowly defeating Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Long-shot Espy campaign sees national boost in weeks before election Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video MORE in a special election in 2017, has said that he does not support Medicare for All.

The NRSC is also targeting Kelly and Shaheen with billboards raising questions about their positions on Medicare for All. Kelly, like Jones, has said that he does not support the proposal, while Shaheen co-sponsored Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Sanders's inauguration look promptly gets a bobblehead Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE's (I-Vt.) 2017 Medicare for All bill, though she has not backed current legislation on the subject.

In two other billboards, the NRSC goes after Peters and Smith, who have not yet said whether they support the Green New Deal, the sweeping proposal to combat climate change backed by some of the Democratic Party’s most progressive members.

“Ask Tina Smith about 430,478 Minnesota jobs at risk under the Green New Deal,” a billboard targeting Smith reads.