Days after Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson made it official that he’s running for Congress again, the National Republican Congressional Committee is welcoming him to the race with an Affordable Care Act attack ad.
The spot features Willmar hardware store owner Randy Czarnetzki, who says President Obama’s health care law “threatens the future of my business.” Willmar is in the state’s Seventh Congressional District, which Peterson represents.
“It’s hard enough to succeed in small business but with all the taxes and regulations that we have to deal with on a regular basis it even makes it more difficult," Czarnetzki says. “The fact that Collin Peterson recently voted to keep Obamacare threatens the future of my business.”
Peterson has not been a wholesale opponent or supporter of the law. The conservative Democrat voted against the Affordable Care Act when it passed the House in 2010.
In the years since, he has voted against Republican legislation designed to repeal or defund the law. But he has supported GOP-backed bills that would delay the tax penalty Americans will pay under the healthcare law if they decline to sign up for coverage this year.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Peterson said: "I voted against Obamacare and would again if it was the same bill. Outside money, the NRCC, and super PACs are trying to hijack the election from the local people, and as one of my constituents said last week, 'don't worry about it, the people of the 7th district are smarter than that'."
The NRCC’s $50,000 ad buy and will run in the Fargo-Moorhead and Twin Cities media markets over the next three weeks. In a statement, group spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said that “After 23 years in Washington, Collin Peterson has lost touch with the needs of Minnesota small businesses and families.”
The campaign arm of House Republicans, the NRCC has been running anti-Peterson ads for the better part of a year.