Since Iowa’s House Democrats announced their support on Sept. 24 for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee has blanketed congressional districts with TV ads slamming their decision.
One 30-second ad even targeted Rep. Dave Loebsack, who isn’t running for re-election in 2020.
“Instead of fixing health care and lowering prescription drug prices,” the ominous voice states, “Loebsack votes with the radicals for endless investigations of President Trump.”
Dave Loebsack: “Iowans need real solutions, not manufactured crises.”
Rather than offer solutions, he’s creating a manufactured crisis by pursuing impeachment.
— GOP (@GOP) October 1, 2019
“These ads are straight out of the GOP playbook in an attempt to scare voters,” said Mandy McClure, communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party, in a statement to Starting Line. “Republicans can’t run on their record of playing partisan political games and obstructing legislation, so they’ve resorted to false attacks to distract voters from their anti-worker agenda, including giving away massive handouts to corporations at the expense of middle-class families and voting to take away health coverage for milions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.”
Of freshman Rep. Cindy Axne, the RNC said, “she cares more about helping radicals than real issues facing Iowans.”
Fellow freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer received the same treatment.
“Rather than work to pass the USMCA and fight the opioid crisis, Finkenauer is pursuing bogus impeachment charges,” the ad in the 1st District said.
However, most recent polling show that majorities of Americans support the impeachment proceedings. A Fox News poll released yesterday showed that 51% supported both impeachment and removal of Trump. Only 40% opposed impeachment.
If the public mood continues to favor impeachment, and as more damaging news stories come out about the Trump Administration’s actions with foreign countries, such ads reminding Iowans that Democratic representatives back impeachment may not have the impact the RNC hopes.
Finkenauer addressed the importance of the impeachment inquiry to maintain checks and balances in American democracy.
“This is about the future of our country and making sure that we have folks following the law and standing up to the office that they hold,” said Finkenauer, in an interview Monday with KCRG. “That’s something that I ran for Congress on, that I hold very dearly, and I think, again, all should be holding that dearly as well.”
Axne recently told Starting Line she would conduct “business as usual” while other committees focus on the impeachment inquiry.
“The fact is, Reps. Axne, Finkenauer, and Loebsack work every day to advance legislation that moves our country forward, helps Iowans succeed, and creates opportunities for our state,” McClure said. “Iowans won’t be fooled by these desperate ads.”
In response to the RNC’s weeklong ad buy, House Majority Forward, a Democratic PAC, has put up ads of its own. Their messaging focuses on exactly that other work in Congress that the RNC was accusing them of not doing.
RNC was up on TV targeting congressional districts across the country. Flight was 10/2-10/8
As RNC goes dark, Dem group House Majority Forward goes up. Here is spot running in Des Moines DMA, boosting Cindy Axne — pic.twitter.com/Oxhl71MWNV
— Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) October 9, 2019
In a spot supportive of Axne, the ad praises her commitment to rural Iowa.
“Right now, times are tough,” the ad states. “That’s why Cindy Axne stepping up for Iowa is so important. Like her work defending Iowa’s biofuels industry, fighting to protect our rural hospitals and helping Iowans of all stripes recover from devastating flooding. She’s working across the aisle to get things done. Thank Cindy Axne for fighting for Iowa’s farmers.”
By Elizabeth Meyer