Senate GOP campaign arm invokes law-and-order message in new ad
The campaign arm for Senate Republicans is invoking a law-and-order message in a new ad released exclusively to The Hill as part of the GOP’s effort to defend its majority in the upper chamber this fall.
The more than 2-minute ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), dubbed “Say No to the Mob,” comes amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The ad shows riots and protests in cities alongside clips of high-ranking Democrats, including presidential nominee Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), encouraging demonstrations.
“While the Republican Majority is working to ensure law and order in our communities, Democrats are paying the bail of criminals and calling on supporters to create unrest in the streets,” NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt said in a statement. “Democrat elected officials live in fear of their base, and their Senate candidates’ mere presence in the Senate would give the angry mob more control. The juxtaposition between parties could not be more clear – in November, a vote for Democrats is a vote for the mob.”
The digital ad marks the first time the GOP group has addressed the protests with a law-and-order message following unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis., last month. It was unclear how much money was behind the ad.
Many of the protests in Kenosha and elsewhere have been peaceful, but some have devolved into looting and clashes with police and other law enforcement.
Tensions reached a high last week after a 17-year-old from Illinois allegedly traveled to Kenosha with a military-style rifle and shot three protesters, killing two. Charges against the teenager include first-degree homicide.
Republican candidates, led by President Trump, have embraced the law-and-order message ahead of November, throwing their support behind law enforcement while condemning violence in several cities.
Trump spent at least $20 million on ads over the summer hitting Biden on the issue of funding for police, and the talking point has since moved down the ballot.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has run various ads in his campaign highlighting the outbreaks of violence and looting during Black Lives Matter protests.
Meanwhile, incumbent Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have accused their opponents of being weak on law and order.
Incumbent Sen. Steve Daines’s (R-Mont.) reelection campaign has also run an ad against his Democratic opponent, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), showing images of protests while a county sheriff is heard warning, “these liberal attacks on law enforcement are a real threat to public safety.”
A number of Democratic strategists expressed concerns to The Hill last week that scenes of protesting in Kenosha could play in Republicans’ favor in November, especially when it comes to suburban voters.
However, Democrats have also hit back against the law-and-order messaging, calling it antiquated and misleading. Democrats have also been quick to point out that demonstrations are happening while Trump is president, seeking to dispel claims that such scenes would play out under a Biden presidency.
“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Biden said during a speech on Monday, in which he condemned rioting.
“Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple,” he continued. “And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change. It will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way.”
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