WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a paid campaign Thursday attacking House Republicans' obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act instead of focusing on the economy and jobs.
The campaign, previewed to The Huffington Post, consists of automated phone calls to the constituents of 21 vulnerable House Republicans and is timed with the third anniversary of the GOP's first Obamacare repeal vote. The call script mocks Republican lawmakers for since holding nearly 50 votes to do away with President Barack Obama's health care law, and urges constituents to demand that their representatives "get [their] priorities straight."
An example of one of the call scripts:
For three years, your congressman has been obsessed with one thing. Not jobs. Not the economy. Not opportunity.
Can you guess what he’s done instead?
Nearly 50 times, Congressman Mike Coffman and Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act –- not to fix it. Congressman Last would take us back to a time when insurance companies could do whatever they wanted to raise rates, drop coverage and deny care. You don’t want to go back to a time when hardworking families had to declare bankruptcy because of health care costs.
Congressman Coffman should be focusing on STRENGTHENING the economy. Instead he’s trying to take away YOUR health care protections. Tell him to get his priorities straight. Call Congressman Coffman at 202.225.7882.
The DCCC has launched similar efforts in recent months as part of Democrats' bid to defend their support for the health care law, which may be a key issue in midterm elections this year. While Republicans have spent recent weeks ramping up their own attacks against Democrats over the law's botched rollout, Democrats have focused their messaging on GOP obstructionism. In a statement, DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin criticized Republicans for going so far as to shut down the government over Obamacare.
"The saga of John Boehner’s singular obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act is one of the reasons that this Republican Congress is more reviled than at any point in modern history -- voters know that Republicans in Congress are inflicting damage on our economy with their one-note agenda," Schwerin said.
"Republicans in Congress even shut down the government over repealing the Affordable Care Act, all so insurance companies could go back to doing whatever they wanted to raise rates, drop coverage and deny care," Schwerin added.
To counter attacks from Republicans, Democrats have sought to reframe the Obamacare debate by highlighting their opponents' lack of an alternative plan to expand health care. Rather than dwelling on the rollout, which has seen significant improvement since its October debut, Democrats have returned to extolling the law's benefits and pointing out that Republicans would rather leave millions without access to health care and coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The 21 Republicans targeted in the campaign are:
Calif.-10: Jeff Denham
Calif.-21: David Valadao
Calif.-31: Gary Miller
Colo.-06: Mike Coffman
Fla.-02: Steve Southerland
Ill.-13: Rodney Davis
Iowa-04: Steve King
Kan.-02: Lynn Jenkins
Kan.-03: Kevin Yoder
Mich.-01: Dan Benishek
Mich.-07: Tim Walberg
Mich.-11: Kerry Bentivolio
N.J.-02: Frank LoBiondo
N.M.-02: Steve Pearce
Nev.-03: Joe Heck
N.Y.-23: Tom Reed
Ohio-14: David Joyce
Pa.-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
Va.-02: Scott Rigell
Wis.-07: Sean Duffy
W.Va.-01: David McKinley