Progressives strike back in debt ceiling ad wars
July 29th, 2011
08:45 AM ET
7 years ago

Progressives strike back in debt ceiling ad wars

Washington (CNN) - A bunch of progressive groups and unions are joining forces to go up with a television commercial in eight states that implores congressional Republicans not to push the nation into default.

Americans United for Change, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the National Education Association say they're spending six figures to run the ad Friday through Monday.

"If Congress doesn't act by Tuesday, American won't be able to pay all of its bills. Social Security checks, veterans benefits, military – all could be at risk because ____ and Congressional Republicans want to protect tax breaks for millionaires, oil companies and corporate jets," says the narrator in the commercial. "So if the check you or your family depends on doesn't arrive, thank _____."

The groups say the ad will target House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle of New York, Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, Rep. Chip Cravaack of Minnesota, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Bobby Schilling of Illinois and Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada.

This is the second round of ads by progressive groups that take on GOP lawmakers over the debt ceiling standoff. Americans United for Change teamed up with SEIU last week in a commercial that targeted four other congressional Republicans.

Earlier this week a powerful independent group that backs Republican candidates and causes went up on the airwaves with a new ad over the debt ceiling debate criticizing five Democratic senators who face challenging re-elections next year. Crossroads GPS (Grassroots Policy Strategy) announced Tuesday that their television commercials would run through August 6 in Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Ohio.

The ads take on Senators Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Ben Nelson and Sherrod Brown, saying that "instead of fixing our economy, politicians like ___ voted for billions in new taxes and racked up trillions in debt in crushing debt. Now President Obama wants to continue the reckless spending and raise taxes even higher. And that costs us more jobs. Tell Senator ___ no more blank checks."

The following day the group said it went up with a new commercial on national cable TV in the key presidential election battleground states of Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. The ad ends by saying "It is time to take away President Obama's blank check."

Crossroads says their latest commercials are part of a $20 million effort this summer to "urge decisive action by Congress to cut spending and the national debt and start rebuilding the nation's economy."

Crossroads GPS and its affiliated American Crossroads spent $70 million in the 2010 midterm elections backing GOP candidates and causes, and has pledged to raise $120 million for the 2012 cycle.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: Ads • Congress • Debt • Deficit
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Michigan Don

    Cantor is arrogant. If God Almighty were to speak from the heavens, this self loving excuse for a legislature wouldn't budge an inch. Why? He's so sure he and his Tea Baggers are right and God must be wrong.

    July 29, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that they have a valid point. THere is no reason not to consider tax increases.

    July 29, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  3. Larry L

    Progressives tend to have a sense of fairness you don't see in the conservative crowd. This is both a virtue and a weakness. Since conservatives have no problem with the dishonest "swift boat" ads they easily validate their lack of honorable behavior by reciting their own lies loud enough and often enough to believe them. Progressives must not bring boxing gloves to a knife fight!

    July 29, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. Name king

    Hey we've went through the second worst economic crisis without raising taxes, taxes cost just as spending does. The lowest taxes in 60 years is driving ip the deficit at or even higher than spending is doing, yet no one seems to want to touch it. We cannot live like this folks, Atleast put taxes to the level when Reagan or even bush was in office, this will save us over a trillion dollars in 10 years, take away all the subsidies and loop holes that will save another trillion. That is 2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, and stop cutting the demanders in our economy money to the core, because since we are living in a supply and demand country, how the hell your going to cut out the consumers and leave the stores twiddling their thumps when customers stop coming through their doors. Some one need to put a muzzle on these lunatic repugs.

    July 29, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I also wonder why there wasn't anything done when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Why weren't they reducing the debt then? What was the reason for tax breaks when there was still debt to pay? Where are all the jobs that these tax cuts supposed to create? I think that their argument hold as much water as Ann Coulter is a kind and compassionate liberal looking for a single payer health care system.

    July 29, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. Time for another change

    Typical partisan politics at it's best. The Democrats have offered nothing except for Reid's bill which to be honest isn't much different than Boehner's. Democrats seem to be content to let Republicans push a plan and sit on the sidelines making partisan comments. Republicans are pushing a balance to the budget which now Democrats are against? Wasnt it just a short while ago that the Democrats were all about a balanced budget? It's the economy stupid! Yeah, we all remember that one. So now the Democrats are doing what the Republican did in the past, and it suits them just fine. Ok, all in the name of partisan politics.I think it's the people that are being held hostage by Washington!

    July 29, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. John

    The Republican need to Compromise and get the biggest deal you can, and It can't be on cuts Only . You have to have more money coming Into the Government. You have to Compromise. You are not going to get anything pass just by you Republican. Heck I wouldn't even agree to It.

    July 29, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  8. seth

    Let me understand? Could anybody tell me the "Differance between "Evangelical Extremism" and the "Ugly insane "Church" in Kansas????? Religous Extremism,whats the diff????

    July 29, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  9. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    Eric Cantor is not going to get re elected. There are signs up and down I-295 calling for his ouster.

    July 29, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. Andrew

    I hear a bell tolling, Eric....

    July 29, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. GI Joe

    They have their tax cuts and loopholes - to heck with us.

    July 29, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. Scott

    Cantor is trying to be Speaker of the House, and he's got Boehner's idiot self right where he wants him. Careful who you allow to influence your decisions. Before giving someone a seat at YOUR "decision-making table" you must make sure that they don't have a self-serving side agenda.

    July 29, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. sara

    Cut spending NOW???? The Economy is BAD!!!!! Pass the Debt Ceiling and move on the Budget Cuts and TAXES.....PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! Why are we even talking about DEFICITS NOW. Raising the DEBT ceiling should've been a CLEAN BILL!!!! These angry people that rode into our Congress had one agenda.....and considering 8 years of out of control certainly wasn't about DEFICITS.

    July 29, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Rsprings

    A compromise needs to be done. However, the adds by theSEIU and their sugar daddy DEMs leaves me cold. Stop the spending spree.

    July 29, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. gt

    get out of tjhe wars... help the poor... ask millionares and billionares to pay more...drug test those who recieve help... everyone do there part...

    July 29, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    I want to tell CAN'Tor to represent ME and others like me who are in his district and he is ignoring. There are many here in VA that CAN'Tor stand him – many of them are Republicans. He better watch his back because we have been trying to get him out for years and now – it seems much easier now!!

    I have NEVER met him – he did show up at my nephew's graduation and spoke. As a matter of fact, he spoke just right for his audience (Black and White); he DOES NOT do that WA. Maybe he should meet with more of his constituents and find out what we're thinking – he might be better off and fight for ALL – not just his TP folks!!!

    Yes, I would love to tell CAN'Tor a lot of things – all he needs to do is show up in our community!!!!!

    July 29, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Jerry

    Were you expecting anything else from these moronic moochers? How embarrassing. They are robbing our country and getting away with it because of Democrat's and President NObama's support.

    What a shame!

    July 29, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "I also wonder why there wasn't anything done when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Why weren't they reducing the debt then?"

    Because they were busy using their ideological reality-ignoring economic policies to drive up the debt by accelerating the redistribution of wealth to the already ultra-wealthy and corporations.

    July 29, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. SuperD

    People, it's not the debt limit, the deficit. IT'S THE SIZE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Anytime you say or agree to "tax the rich" or anybody for that matter, that is is more crack coicaine to govt beurocrats who are hooked on your tax dollars. Nothing is ever going to shrink until you starve this BEAST. NO TAXES!

    July 29, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "So now the Democrats are doing what the Republican did in the past, and it suits them just fine. "

    What would you have them do? They'ev spent months negotiating and offering bills that compromised on almost every single opint the GOP demanded and Reid's final proposal meets every single one of the GOP's major demands. Meanwhile, the GOP is busy delaying the entire process because, instead of trying to find a way to get Dems to vote with them in the House, they have decided that since they have the majority, they are going to attempt to pass something SOLELY with GOP votes and try to shove it up everyone's arse while pretending that passing something that could only get GOP votes in the House now absolves them of all responsibility and justifies what will surely be a weekend overtaken by their messaging blitz that it's now all the Dems' responsibility and the blame belongs to them. Your false equivalency is bunk and pays no heed to the actual facts of how this has played out.

    July 29, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Four and The Door

    The Republican need to Compromise and get the biggest deal you can, and It can't be on cuts Only .
    Pay attention to the news, John. Both Obama and Harry Reid have already abandoned that whole " Take this opportunity to squeeze out more taxes" strategy. It would only add to the problem by clobbering the economy even more.

    The only way out of Obama, Reid and Pelosi's financial mess here is to get government spending under control and to create an environment where American companies can grow our economy back to life again. The government trying to buy the economy back to life was obviously a flop.

    July 29, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Henry

    @Time for another change – Yup, partisan politics. I am glad you never claimed to be non-partisan. You are the worst because you do not acknowledge that you are a right wing ideologue (sp). What is it that the Democrats have done that cause you to criticize them out of hand, regardless of who is behaving improperly.. You are the typical Republican that will blindly support one "plank" of the Republican agenda even if you disagree with it just so you can have your "need" met. Disgusting.

    July 29, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Scotty

    Those of us that pay taxes are paying enough, it's the bottom 50 % that pay nothing, get back refunds every year, and use the social programs the most that need to start paying taxes.

    July 29, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "What was the reason for tax breaks when there was still debt to pay?"

    Actually, it was because there was a suprlus at first thanks to Clinton, so the GOP decided to hand it out mostly to the rich and corporations via massive, inequitable tax cuts that vastly favored the wealthy and corporations over the middle-class and poor. They sold these cuts to the pervasively stupid American public by promising it would create jobs and boost the economy, which it didn't, doesn't and never will, and have spent the past decade pretending it has nothing to do with the massive deficit and debt that has accumulated...instead claiming we have a "spending problem." Said pervasively stupid American public continues to buy that line of crap.

    "Egalitarian" is the filthiest word in the universe to the GOP.

    July 29, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The young lady answering the phone this morning in his ofice was really nice.
    The message I left him with her was not.

    July 29, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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