Campaigns

DCCC hits Republicans on shutdown in first digital spending of 2020 cycle

Facebook ads target 25 Republicans for missed pay for national security workers

The DCCC’s first digital expenditure of the 2020 cycle uses the government shutdown to attack GOP incumbents like Minnesota’s Jim Hagedorn, pictured above in his Mankato, Minn., campaign office last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first digital spending of the 2020 cycle attacks House Republicans for the shutdown.

The DCCC ads, obtained first by Roll Call, will target 25 House Republicans, specifically blaming them for national security workers missing their second paycheck. The static ads begin running Friday and will be geotargeted on Facebook. 

The ad features an image of a helicopter rescue crew with the following text: “The Coast Guard, Border Patrol and TSA just missed another paycheck thanks to Rep. King.”

Screenshot of DCCC ad.
Screenshot of the DCCC static ad.

This messaging reflects a Democratic strategy to try to own the national security narrative — part of a broader argument that government funding, and not President Donald Trump’s border wall, will keep Americans safe. Many freshman members of the new Democratic majority have military or national security backgrounds.

“When you work hard to keep our country safe, you should receive your paycheck, period,” DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter said in a statement. “But now, workers who risk their lives everyday are about to miss another paycheck as Republicans in Washington continue to play games with the lives of hardworking Americans, and their families’ livelihoods and financial security.”

“Republicans’ recklessness threatens our national security, and it’s critical that voters know exactly who is putting Americans’ lives at risk in pursuit of a wasteful and deeply unpopular partisan agenda,” he continued.

This is an early investment for the DCCC. The House Democratic campaign arm didn’t make its first digital expenditure for the 2018 cycle until March 2017. 

The 25 Republicans the DCCC is targeting are: Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona, Duncan Hunter of California, Scott Tipton of Colorado, Ross Spano and Brian Mast of Florida, Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve King of Iowa, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Andy Barr of Kentucky, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota, Ann Wagner of Missouri, George Holding of North Carolina, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Lee Zeldin, Peter T. King and Chris Collins of New York, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Michael McCaul, Chip Roy, Pete Olson, Kenny Marchant and John Carter of Texas and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Herrera Beutler joined five other Republicans in voting for a continuing resolution that would have funded the government through Feb 1. She also voted for other spending bills Democrats have brought to the floor to try to reopen the government. Davis, Upton and King have also broken with their party to vote for some standalone bills to reopen parts of the government

Democrats are likely to go after all Republicans, regardless of how they’ve voted on individual bills, in much the same way they did with attacks on Republicans’ health care votes in the 2018 cycle.

Also watch: McConnell says GOP plan only way to reopen government, Schumer says ‘Bull’

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