DCCC Launches First Digital Ad Campaign Linking House Republicans to Trump

The Democratic committee is targeting 15 districts.

Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota is one of several members of Congress being targeted in a new Democratic ad campaign tying House Republicans to Donald Trump.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Kimberly Railey
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Kimberly Railey
May 26, 2016, 10:21 a.m.

House Demo­crats are launch­ing their first video salvo ty­ing Re­pub­lic­ans to Don­ald Trump.

On Thursday, the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee un­veiled its in­aug­ur­al di­git­al ad cam­paign that links House Re­pub­lic­an in­cum­bents and can­did­ates to the con­tro­ver­sial busi­ness­man in 15 con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts—14 that the party is hop­ing to flip and one the party is look­ing to de­fend. The ad buy, which is in the five fig­ures, will span two weeks, ac­cord­ing to a DCCC aide.

“Don­ald Trump has pulled back the cur­tain on House Re­pub­lic­ans, re­veal­ing their long-held dis­crim­in­at­ory and back­wards po­s­i­tions that harm wo­men, im­mig­rants, Muslims, the LGBT com­munity, and so many oth­ers,” DCCC Chair­man Ben Ray Lu­jan said in a state­ment provided first to Na­tion­al Journ­al. “This di­git­al ad cam­paign is the first of many con­nec­tions we’ll high­light between Don­ald Trump and House Re­pub­lic­ans.”

The ads will run in the dis­tricts of some of the most vul­ner­able Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing Rep. John Katko in New York’s 24th Dis­trict, Rep. Robert Dold in Illinois’s 10th Dis­trict, and Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st Dis­trict. The spots tar­get fe­male in­de­pend­ent and Re­pub­lic­an voters, po­ten­tially per­suad­able con­stitu­en­cies with whom Trump’s brand could be par­tic­u­larly tox­ic.

The 30- and 60-second web ads, titled “Build­ing Blocks,” high­light some of Trump’s most in­cen­di­ary com­ments, jux­ta­pos­ing them with lit­er­al blocks that show sim­il­ar le­gis­la­tion or com­ments offered by House Re­pub­lic­ans. The spots in­clude Trump’s com­ment that “there has to be some form of pun­ish­ment” for wo­men who get abor­tions, for ex­ample, fol­lowed by text that doc­u­ments House Re­pub­lic­ans pre­par­ing a new abor­tion bill.

“Don­ald Trump and Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress—built from the same reck­less policies,” a nar­rat­or says at the be­gin­ning of the spot.

The Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee launched a sim­il­ar ad cam­paign last week, ty­ing Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate can­did­ates to Hil­lary Clin­ton—”a liv­ing his­tory of scan­dal, lies, and spin,” the ad’s an­noun­cer says.

The DCCC ads high­light Re­pub­lic­ans’ re­marks on LGBT is­sues, im­mig­ra­tion, and Muslims, aim­ing to show that the party ad­op­ted po­s­i­tions sim­il­ar to Trump’s be­fore the bil­lion­aire burst on to the polit­ic­al scene. It in­cludes, for ex­ample, one of Rep. Steve King’s con­tro­ver­sial com­ments on im­mig­rants: “For every­one who’s a va­le­dictori­an, there’s an­oth­er 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of can­ta­loupes be­cause they’re haul­ing 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

The di­git­al cam­paign will also reach re­tir­ing Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s swing dis­trict in Pennsylvania, where his broth­er Bri­an Fitzpatrick is run­ning to re­place him, as well as three oth­er open-seat races: in Demo­crat­ic Rep. Ann Kirk­patrick’s dis­trict in Ari­zona, which the party is de­fend­ing, and in two dis­tricts the party hopes to take over: Rep. John Kline’s in Min­nesota and Rep. Joe Heck’s in Nevada. The spots will also tar­get the dis­tricts of Reps. Scott Gar­rett of New Jer­sey, Frank Guinta of New Hamp­shire, Bruce Poli­quin of Maine, Cresent Hardy of Nevada, Erik Paulsen of Min­nesota, Mike Coff­man of Col­or­ado, Car­los Cur­belo of Flor­ida, and Bar­bara Com­stock of Vir­gin­ia. The cam­paign will also be pro­moted on Face­book in Wash­ing­ton D.C.

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