Vulnerable Dem Sen. Heitkamp hits opponent on ObamaCare repeal votes

A vulnerable Senate Democrat is targeting her Republican opponent over ObamaCare in a new ad released Thursday.

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.), who is running for reelection in a state won by Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE in 2016, released an ad highlighting GOP Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenators highlight threat from invasive species Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs GOP senators think Trump would win vote on emergency declaration MORE's votes to repeal ObamaCare.

The ad features a woman named Denise who has heart disease.


"Mr. Cramer, I don't know why you voted to let insurance companies go back to denying coverage for pre-existing conditions but I know Heidi would never do that," Denise says. 

Cramer voted to repeal ObamaCare 65 times, Heitkamp's campaign said.

“Heidi has worked across the aisle to improve the current law to make health care more accessible and affordable for North Dakotans," said Libby Schneider, Heidi for North Dakota campaign manager.  

"In stark contrast, Kevin Cramer has spent his time in Washington voting 65 times to repeal or undermine the health care law — without offering a single solution to make it work better for North Dakotans."

North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins said he's not concerned about Heitkamp's attacks on health care. 

"Heidi Heitkamp's repeated lies about Cramer's stance on pre-existing conditions won't work," he said. 

"Heitkamp's support for Obamacare has saddled North Dakotans with higher costs, worse care, and fewer options, and voters will remember that in November."

Democrats believe health care is a winning issue for them heading into the midterms, where they hope to win back control of the House and the Senate. They are facing a tough road in the upper chamber where they have 10 members defending in states that were won by Trump in 2016. 

While Republicans campaigned for years on promises to repeal the health care law, they have since backed off of that campaign issue after failing to pass repeal bills several times last year.