Eddie Mauro, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, has made his first TV ad buy of the 2020 cycle.
The campaign will spend about $105,000 on digital and TV ads set to start airing today. The ads will run for three weeks, according to the campaign.
“Cool Under Fire” weaves in footage from Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2014 campaign ad “Shot.” The 30-second spot, from her first run for Senate, shows Ernst shooting repeatedly at a target in an indoor shooting range. The “target” in her ad was the Affordable Care Act, which she vowed to repeal if elected to the Senate.
Mauro’s ad, however, makes it look like shots are hitting the fence he’s walking by.
Gun violence has been a signature part of Mauro’s campaign to unseat Ernst in 2020. In a November interview with Starting Line, Mauro said he has personally experienced gun violence, including an incident with his son in which he saw a man open fire in a Des Moines park.
“One of the reasons I’m running? Because our current senator Joni Ernst, she thinks it’s OK to run ads glorifying guns,” Mauro says in the ad, which has a nearly two-minute and 30-second version. “She doesn’t seem to care that many of those guns will be pointed at our kids, our teachers, church-goers, movie-goers, concert-goers, our police officers. Well, I care.”
As Mauro speaks, images of Ernst shooting a gun cut into the ad. Bullets are shown striking near Mauro as he rails against Ernst’s record on health care, education, abortion access and workers’ rights.
“The record is clear — Joni Ernst has sold out Iowans,” said Mauro, Thursday in a statement about the ad buy. “Despite promising to ‘make them squeal,’ Joni has been more than happy to help the NRA, Big Pharma, and the fossil fuel industry bring home the bacon. I am ready to stand up to the special interests that shoot down progress and tackle the challenges we face today — from health care and climate change to campaign finance reform — with the urgency and courage they deserve.”
Michael Franken, a retired Navy admiral also running to win Ernst’s Senate seat, was the first in the Democratic primary to release a TV ad. In October, Franken’s campaign released an ad about Ernst’s defense of President Donald Trump amid an impeachment inquiry.
Here is the 30-second version for TV of Mauro’s ad:
By Elizabeth Meyer