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 Charles PetersAdvocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Senators urge Trump to fill vacancies at DHS MORE (Mich.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump On The Money: Fed faces crossroads as it weighs third rate cut | Dem presses Mnuchin on 'alleged rampant corruption' | Boeing chief faces anger at hearing | Trouble for House deal on Ex-Im Bank Democrats renew push for contractor back pay from government shutdown MORE (Minn.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Jeanne Shaheed (N.H.), as well as Democrat Mark Kelly, who’s vying for Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths 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 MooreFormer AG Sessions enters Alabama Senate race Campaign ad casts Sessions as a 'traitor' ahead of expected Senate run Doug Jones on potential challenge from Sessions: Alabama GOP primary will be 'really divisive' 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 SandersBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Bernie Sanders tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan If we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat 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.