Americans for a Strong Defense, a group formed to oppose the confirmation of former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, launched its first series of television ads Tuesday in five states that are home to incumbent Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014.
The ads, which link Hagel's nomination to "an end to our nuclear program" and "devastating defense cuts," target five potentially vulnerable incumbents: Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; Mark Udall, D-Colo.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; and Kay Hagan, D-N.C. The ads urge viewers to call these senators and tell them "to say no to Chuck Hagel." The spot running in Colorado also mentions Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Michael Bennet.
Americans for a Strong Defense spokesman Ryan Williams said the senators were chosen because they've remained publicly undecided on Hagel's confirmation up to this point, but he acknowledged that the ad campaign targets five senators potentially facing tough reelection bids.
"A number of these senators are going to have to answer to their constituents at the ballot box in the future," Williams said. "This is an issue that voters will take into account when deciding whether to reelect any of these individuals."
Americans for a Strong Defense did not release details on the size of the ad buys, but Williams said the spots will run on broadcast and cable in the five states. The group also plans to expand their ad campaign into other states in the near future.