NRSC to Target Begich on Carbon Tax

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

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 09: U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) (R) speaks at a press conference highlighting how veterans are being impacted by the government shutdown with (L-R) Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) at the U.S. Capitol October 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. During the event, Tester and others discussed how critical veterans services are being affected by the shutdown. 
National Journal
Alex Roarty
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Alex Roarty
March 7, 2014, 12:05 a.m.

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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