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NRSC to Target Begich on Carbon Tax NRSC to Target Begich on Carbon Tax

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NRSC to Target Begich on Carbon Tax

GOP Senate committee using robocalls to suggest the endangered Democratic incumbent supports a carbon tax.

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(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is set to begin running a deluge of robocalls in Alaska against Democratic Sen. Mark Begich—and they're taking a page out of Americans for Prosperity's playbook to do it.

Starting Friday, the political committee says it will make the calls to 62,000 households of "mostly" undeclared and nonpartisan registered voters. The robocalls start by mentioning Begich's past support for Obamacare, suggesting that the incumbent lied when he said everyone would be able to keep their health insurance. It's proof, they say, that the Democrat is now lying when he says he doesn't support a carbon tax despite signing a letter that called for just that.

 

"This isn't the first lie that Mark Begich has told Alaskans, but it serves as the latest reminder that Mark Begich cannot be trusted to keep his word," the ad says.

If that sounds familiar, it should: It's almost the same script AFP used in a TV ad last month. Both spots open by talking about Obamacare, before pivoting to discuss his alleged support of a carbon tax.

The tactic illustrates the opportunity that GOP strategists say Obamacare offers the party, which can use the public's strong disapproval of the law to weaken their credibility in other areas. Some Republicans have argued that the party needs to do more than just talk about Obamacare if it wants to maximize its opportunity in the midterm elections.

 

Alaska's red hue has made Begich one of the GOP's top targets this year, although some analysts suggest he has withstood the political siege better than red-state Democratic counterparts like Sens. Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.

Republicans still have to sort through their own three-man primary, featuring a matchup among 2010 GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

"The NRSC is parroting the exact same discredited attack against Mark Begich that their friends the Koch Brothers already got called out for," said DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky.

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