Osborn’s New Ad Hits Sasse’s Obamacare Past

The two candidates are the two front-runners in Nebraska’s GOP primary.

US President Barack Obama speaks about the healthcare reform laws, known as Obamacare, at an Organizing for Action event in Washington, DC, November 4, 2013.  
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
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Andrea Drusch
April 28, 2014, 2 a.m.

(This post has been updated at 11:42 a.m. on April 28, 2014.)

A new ad from former Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn takes a swing at his Republican primary opponent for making comments in support of Obamacare in 2009 and 2010, Osborne says in the ad, a characterization Midland University president Ben Sasse’s campaign vehemently challenged after the ad’s release.

The 30-second ad shows footage of Osborn from 2009 speaking out against the then-bill, a contrast, it says, from Sasse’s own ambiguous history of opposition.

Critics accuse Sasse, a former Health and Human Services official under the George W. Bush administration, for once backing the health law and its individual mandate. Sasse, who has the endorsement of conservative outside groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund, calls himself as one of the law’s pre-eminent critics. 

Sasse’s campaign says the instances listed in the Osborn ad were taken out of context and that the candidate has consistently warned against the dangers of implementing Obamacare. 

“Here in Nebraska, honesty matters but Shane Osborn’s dishonest attack is proof that he is willing to do and say anything to get elected,” Sasse spokesman Tyler Grassmeyer said. “Nebraskans know the truth: no one has fought ObamaCare harder than Ben Sasse.”

Sasse is now campaigning on a repeal-and-replace platform, making his Obamacare alternative a centerpiece of his campaign.

The ad is the Osborn campaign’s second in two weeks, both of which seek to frame Sasse as a D.C. insider. A previous spot highlighted his time spent living and working in Washington, while this one ties him to a president and law that are both unpopular in the state. 

Osborn and Sasse are among a handful of Republicans competing for the nomination in a May 13 primary.

Osborn’s campaign says the buy is about a $200,000 in the state’s four top media markets, reaching about 93 percent of the state.

Sasse, a former Health and Human Services official under the George W. Bush administration, had praised both the health care law and its individual mandate, saying it wouldn’t be repealed. Sasse is now campaigning on a repeal-and-replace platform, making his Obamacare alternative a centerpiece of his campaign. The ad is the Osborne campaign’s second in two weeks, both seeking to frame Sasse as a D.C. insider. A previous spot highlighted his time spent living and working in Washington, while this one ties him to a president and law that are both unpopular in the state.  Osborne and Sasse are among four Republicans competing for the nomination in a May 13 primary. Osborne’s campaign says the buy is about a $200,000 in the four top media markets, reaching about 93 percent of the state.A new ad from former Nebraska state treasure Shane Osborne (R) takes a swing at his primary opponent, Midland University president Ben Sasse (R), for comments he made in support of Obamacare in 2009 and 2010.Sasse, a former Health and Human Services official under the George W. Bush administration, had praised both the health care law and its individual mandate, saying it wouldn’t be repealed.Sasse is now campaigning on a repeal-and-replace platform, making his Obamacare alternative a centerpiece of his campaign.The ad is the Osborne campaign’s second in two weeks, both seeking to frame Sasse as a D.C. insider. A previous spot highlighted his time spent living and working in Washington, while this one ties him to a president and law that are both unpopular in the state. Osborne and Sasse are among four Republicans competing for the nomination in a May 13 primary.Osborne’s campaign says the buy is about a $200,000 in the four top media markets, reaching about 93 percent of the state.
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