A pro-Trump outside group is stepping up its attacks on GOP Sen. Dean Heller over his opposition to the Obamacare repeal plan — a stunning act of retribution against a politically vulnerable member of the president’s own party.
America First Policies, a White House-sanctioned political organization, is launching a $1 million TV and radio ad campaign on Tuesday savaging Heller, the most vulnerable Republican facing re-election in 2018, for his planned ‘No’ vote. It’s an offensive designed to send a loud message to those who refuse to align themselves with President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.
“[N]ow with strong leadership and a chance to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered care that protects American families, Sen. Dean Heller is saying ‘No.’ Call Sen. Heller, tell him America needs him to keep his promise: Vote ‘yes’ to repeal and replace Obamacare,” says the 30-second TV ad, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.
The group’s one-minute radio ads go further.
“…[N]ow with the leadership of President Trump, we have a real chance to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered care that protects American families and provides health care stability,” it says. “But Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is saying ‘No.’ ‘No’ to tax cuts to help small business, ‘No’ to ending Obamacare penalties, and ‘No’ to families who can’t afford to see the doctor of their choice.”
It concludes darkly: “Call Sen. Heller and tell him to keep his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare — before it’s too late.”
It’s the latest step in a multi-pronged offensive targeting Heller over his opposition to the beleaguered health care bill. Over the weekend, America First Policies launched an aggressive digital campaign deriding the senator as a liar, labeling his behavior “unacceptable,” and even likening him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a reviled figure in conservative circles.
Senior Republicans and allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who are deeply worried about Heller’s re-election prospects, have fumed about the ad campaign, describing it as unhelpful to the party’s midterm hopes.
Since the anti-Heller campaign was announced on Friday, McConnell allies have reached out to the group to express their displeasure. Yet it has not kept America First Policies, which is staffed by a number of Trump’s top campaign aides, from proceeding with the barrage.