It's a familiar refrain from Democrats that the federal budget plan from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would hurt seniors, but now a Republican Senate candidate is making the same claim in a new ad, paid for by Republicans.
The ad features Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who is challenging Sen. Jon Tester, a conservative Democrat who has cast himself as strongly independent. The spot's sponsors have bought $200,000 of airtime to run it in Montana.
"Denny Rehberg is different, an independent thinker," says the ad, before ticking off the ways that Rehberg is different.
One of those ways takes a telling shot at the House GOP budget resolution that would create a voucher plan for Medicare: "Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that could harm the Medicare program so many of Montana's seniors rely on."
The ad was paid for by the Montana Republican Party, which received $50,000 of the $143,000 it raised in April and May from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The state party had a little over $40,000 left in the bank at the end of May. A spokesman for the national committee declined to say if the $200,000 for the ad buy came from the committee.
National campaigns often provide funds for such ads, although once the money is in local party hands, they are free to use it as they see fit. Either way, an ad that attacks the GOP budget plan appears to have been funded by a national GOP campaign team.
It may be just the begining of an anti-Paul Ryan trend. A West Virginia Republican congressman, Rep. David McKinley, recently sent a mailer denouncing the Ryan plans for Medicare.