WASHINGTON — Republicans will begin a television advertising blitz against Rep. Tim Walz today with advertisements either by or funded in part by national Republicans, who have declared Walz their top target in Minnesota.
Challenger Randy Demmer will begin airing an aggressive spot today using coordinated from the National Republican Congressional Committee, officials in the Demmer campaign told MinnPost Wednesday. The $85,000 ad buy will be paid for with money from the NRCC’s coordinated campaign and will air alongside a separate $102,000 NRCC ad scheduled to begin Friday.
“Randy Demmer’s first television ad of the campaign reflects what this race is all about,” said Jason Flohrs, Demmer’s campaign manager, on Wednesday. “It highlights the very things in his record that Tim Walz doesn’t want voters to remember.” The Demmer ad can be seen here:
In addition, NRCC spokesman Tom Erickson confirmed that the NRCC is “entering the CD1 race” on Friday. He later favorably forwarded a POLITICO report that said the NRCC would be taking out a $6.5 million loan to finance ads in several districts, including Minnesota’s 1st.
“Southern Minnesotans deserve to know the truth about Tim Walz’s record of rubber-stamping the failed Obama agenda that helped drive our economy off a cliff,” Erickson said. “With Walz in Washington, Minnesota families have gotten more government but fewer jobs and it’s time that someone held him accountable.”
Together the ads represent the largest and most aggressive play of the cycle for any national congressional committee in the Gopher State to date, and in a district that wasn’t on anyone’s radar this time last year.
The ad buy is certainly a change of pace for the GOP — keep in mind that national Republicans said just three weeks ago said they weren’t likely to get very financially involved because the field was too broad and there wasn’t enough money to spread around. However, sensing opportunity, Republicans have expanded their financial playing field to and beyond the all-in mark.
The Walz campaign respondedby sending out an e-mail solicitation asking supporters to help raise $100,000 to counter the NRCC’s buy, calling it the “latest bailout for career politician Randy Demmer.”
“National Republicans are not coming after Tim Walz because they believe he is vulnerable, they are coming after Tim because he is strong,” campaign manager Richard Carlbom wrote. “While Tim has focused on solutions that will improve peoples lives, the NRCC leaders have chosen to help Randy Demmer because they know he will be a reliable vote for Wall Street and health insurance companies.”
There has been no comparable national ad purchase from Democrats, which looks to this observer like yet another example of the disconnect between national Dems and the GOP on just how in play MN-01 really is.
While the GOP has elevated Demmer to the top tier of it’s “Young Guns” contender program, Democrats have kept Walz off their incumbent protection “Frontline” list. The DCCC didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article. Last month, however, DCCC spokeswoman Gabby Adler told me Demmer was “far from a credible candidate.”
Carlbom and the rest of the Walz campaign, however, aren’t looking past Demmer. “Now is the time to respond,” he wrote to supporters. “Now is the time to act. Now is the time to make sure voters know the choice is clear.”