An outside group headed by former Vice President Mike Pence will spend $10 million on new advertisements tying potentially vulnerable House Democrats to the Biden administration.

The advertisements, airing in 11 states, urge incumbent Democrats to support American energy production rather than relying on Russian oil.

“Before Russian bombs began to rain on Ukraine, before hundreds of innocent Ukrainians lost their lives, a horrific decision had already been made,” a narrator intones. “Joe Biden caved to the radical environmentalists and stopped America’s Keystone Pipeline and dramatically increased Americans’ dependence on Russian oil, endangering America’s security and helping Russia fund their invasion.”

Pence himself does not appear in the ad, paid for by Advancing American Freedom, the outside issue advocacy group he founded.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have backed bans on Russian oil in recent days, after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last week she would entertain a ban.

The Pence-funded ad blitz targets four Texas Democrats, Reps. Colin Allred, Henry Cuellar, Lizzie Fletcher and Vicente Gonzalez. It will air in Iowa, against Rep. Cindy Axne (D), and in Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Arizona, Virginia, Kansas and New Mexico, all states where Republicans hope to win House seats currently held by Democrats.

“In order to set the United States back on a path of energy independence, we need Congress to stand up to Putin and stand up for American energy,” Pence said in a statement announcing the ad buy.

Pence has slowly raised his profile in recent months as he considers his own political future. In an address to members of the Republican National Committee this weekend, Pence seemed to draw a contrast with his former boss, ex-President Trump, who has offered glowing assessments of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence told donors. “There is only room for champions of freedom.”

Tags Cindy Axne colin allred Donald Trump Election 2022 Henry Cuellar Joe Biden Lizzie Fletcher midterms 2022 Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi Vincente Gonzalez Vladimir Putin

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