MoveOn targets vulnerable GOP senators with ad campaign following impeachment

MoveOn targets vulnerable GOP senators with ad campaign following impeachment
© Greg Nash

Progressive advocacy group MoveOn announced Wednesday it would launch an advertising campaign against three vulnerable GOP senators who voted to acquit President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE in the Senate’s impeachment trial.

The messages targeting Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerGOP senator calls for investigation into 'mismanagement' of strategic ventilators Romney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads MORE (Colo.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins: Firing of intelligence community watchdog 'not warranted' Campaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus MORE (Maine) are the opening salvo of the “Vote Them Out” ad campaign that MoveOn says it will continue through the November elections.

“Republican Senators may have failed to do their job, but voters won’t fail to do ours. We have one message for Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans who time and time again have helped cover up his abuses: We will see you at the ballot box,” said MoveOn Political Action Executive Director Rahna Epting. 

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The ads accuse the senators of being “complicit” in Trump’s “crimes” and call their acquittal votes “disgraceful.”

“Martha McSally is complicit in Trump’s crimes. She just voted to let Trump violate the Constitution. She ignored her solemn oath to uphold the law and gave Trump the green light to keep undermining the integrity of our elections,” a narrator reads in the ad targeting McSally. “Martha McSally didn’t do her job, but we are ready to do ours. Vote her out.” 

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The advertisements will run on digital platforms as well as broadcast markets in Phoenix, Denver and Portland, Ore. 

The announcement of the ad campaign came almost immediately after the Senate voted to acquit Trump on impeachment articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate voted nearly along party lines on the first article, with only Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOutgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Utah) breaking ranks, and entirely along party lines for the second charge.

Democrats had accused Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and obstructing Congress by hindering subsequent probes into his conduct, but Republicans maintained his conduct did not rise to the level of impeachment. 

“This was not a trial, it was a cover-up. Republicans in Congress are knowing and willing accomplices in Donald Trump’s efforts to solicit foreign interference in our elections,” Epting said. “Trump is corrupt, and Republican Senators are complicit in his corruption. We will mobilize to vote them out, and that starts with this ad campaign and grassroots accountability work.” 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates all three of the Senate races as toss ups.