GOP super PAC pushes back on report it skipped ad buys for California's Rohrabacher, Walters

GOP super PAC pushes back on report it skipped ad buys for California's Rohrabacher, Walters
© Greg Nash

A Republican super PAC pushed back on a report from The Los Angeles Times that it chose not to broadcast television advertising for Reps. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherDemocratic gains erasing House GOP in California California New Members 2019 McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote MORE and Mimi Walters, both Republican incumbents in California, in its latest round of advertising.

The paper reported last week that the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) decided not to air advertising for the two incumbent lawmakers in a round of buying for Southern California.

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"The CLF has reserved thus far over $3 million in each of their districts and began advertising in August in their districts," CLF Communications Director Courtney Alexander told The Hill.

She added that the PAC is confident in Rohrabacher and Walters.

"If the election were held today, we believe that both Mimi Walters and Dana Rohrabacher would win their reelection,” she told The Hill.

Meanwhile, Rohrabacher's campaign denied being skipped over when asked for comment by The Hill.

"The report is false," Rohrabacher campaign spokesman Dale Neugebauer told The Hill in an email Monday. "CLF placed a $325k media buy in CA 48 the day before the Times story appeared and an additional buy in CA 45."

Neugebauer added that the CLF has spent "about $2.4 million and they have an additional $1 million in media buys scheduled" for Rohrabacher.

The LA Times had reported that the CLF, which is aligned with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCalif. congresswoman-elect bumps into Pelosi at airport How this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters MORE (R-Wis.), launched on Friday a $5 million ad campaign in Los Angeles, but chose to focus only on Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) and Young Kim (R).

The CLF has previously said it would spend nearly $12 million on cable television ads in Southern California, according to the LA Times.

The campaign offices of Walters did not immediately respond to requests for comments from The Hill. 

A strategist for the Walters campaign, Dave Gilliard, downplayed the significance of the CLF move. 

“There’s a lot of head fakes and games of chicken that occur between various outside spending groups in all these congressional districts,” Gilliard told the LA Times. “Everybody’s trying to head-fake the other side to get them to spend money where they don’t need it."

Recent polling has shown Rohrabacher tied with Democratic challenger Harley Rouda, while Walters is lagging behind Katie Porter (D).

Updated at 2:18 p.m.