The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing ads attacking Republican Reps. Jason Lewis and Erik Paulsen for their votes to repeal Obamacare, as part of their first digital ad campaign of the cycle.
Lewis voted for the measure in the House Budget Committee, and Paulsen supported it in the Ways and Means Committee. Democrats are targeting them and 12 other House GOP members from competitive districts who voted for the measure at the committee level, including the panel that oversees energy and commerce. The five-figure ad buy will be featured on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Republicans pulled the healthcare bill from the House floor on Friday after support collapsed in the caucus, particularly among conservative lawmakers. But Lewis and Paulsen steadfastly backed the legislation throughout the controversy, praising it for offering consumers more choices and better coverage. Minnesota’s other House GOP member, Tom Emmer, also planned to vote for the proposal on the House floor, though he isn’t a member of any of the committees that approved the legislation.
The National Republican Congressional Committee countered that Lewis and Paulsen had promised to reform healthcare.
"Their votes were just steps in the reform process," said spokeswoman Maddie Anderson in a statement.
The DCCC said the ads would target swing voters in Minnesota’s second and third districts who are 35 years and older, community activists and those who have talked about healthcare on social media. The videos criticize the proposal over reports that it would drop coverage for 24 million Americans and make healthcare more expensive for people between 50 and 64 years old. They tout the members’ yes votes, then conclude, “You deserve better.”
The move is a continuation of a strategy last year by national Democrats seeking to negatively link Paulsen and Lewis to President Trump. The DCCC spent millions of dollars on their challengers’ campaigns and are expected to target those seats again in 2018.