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
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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