The leading Democratic super PAC for Senate candidates announced on Thursday that it would be spending $8.6 million on television ads in Texas in support of combat veteran M.J. Hegar’s effort to oust Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (R).
In a press release, the Senate Majority PAC said the funds, its first spent in Texas this cycle, will cover two ads running in the state Friday through Election Day: “Woah,” which will air in English, and “Importante” in Spanish.
Senate Majority touted a Cook Political Report this week that Hegar raised more than $13.5 million in the third quarter, nearly eight times what she had raised in the second quarter.
The PAC said in its press release that the new ads will “set the record straight on Sen. Cornyn’s lies about his health care record,” adding that he received “Four Pinocchios” from The Washington Post on Thursday following a claim in his recent ad that his health care plan would cover preexisting conditions.
“Three weeks out and John Cornyn has a weaker standing than Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant More than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State MORE ever did,” J.B. Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said in the press release. “John Cornyn led the charge to repeal the law that protects those with pre-existing conditions while pocketing millions from the drug and insurance industries.”
The English-language ad begins with a narrator claiming that the longtime Republican senator is “lying about his health care record.”
“He’s a shill for the drug and insurance industry, who gave him over three million in campaign cash and voted four times to let insurance companies deny coverage for Texans with pre-existing conditions like cancer,” the narrator says.
“John Cornyn is a fraud who sold us out,” the narrator concludes.
Cornyn responded to the news of the PAC’s spending, tweeting Thursday:
More $ from my opponents recruiters and donors in DC, NY and California. https://t.co/O8GrYdZ5uj— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 15, 2020
His campaign later released a statement accusing Hegar of hypocrisy over the use of big money in politics.
"It's clear that MJ's campaign strategy is win at all costs — even if that means selling out Texas values to out-of-state liberal donors," Cornyn spokesperson Krista Piferrer said, according to The Texas Tribune.
Despite Hegar’s fundraising advantage, Cornyn leads the Air Force veteran in recent polling, with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight putting Cornyn at about 9 percentage points ahead of Hegar in data reported Tuesday.