FIRST ON CNN: House GOP campaign arm goes online in the blame game over forced spending cuts
March 4th, 2013
08:21 AM ET
1 year ago

FIRST ON CNN: House GOP campaign arm goes online in the blame game over forced spending cuts

Washington (CNN) - As the impact of the forced spending cuts begins to kick in around the country, the blame game for who is responsible for the so-called "sequester" is filtering into Congressional campaigns on the web. House Republicans are running web banner ads criticizing 20 House Democrats who represent swing districts for not stopping what they call "Obama's sequester."

The House GOP's campaign arm cites these Democrats' opposition to the Republican plan to replace the across-the-board cuts as equivalent to backing the cuts.

The strategy to target Democrats on local news websites is part of a continuing push by the National Republican Congressional Committee to pair digital with traditional media. A senior GOP campaign aide tells CNN this is the "first wave" using this kind of advertising in the 2014 cycle, but there will be more to come. After the 2012 presidential election, many Republicans conceded that President Obama's campaign outmaneuvered the GOP online, and they have put an increased emphasis online, hiring a bigger staff and using resources to focus messaging on the web.

Recently Obama's former campaign arm, Organizing for Action, paid for web banner ads in a campaign targeting GOP Members to support background checks for guns.

In one of the new NRCC web ads the National Republican Congressional Committee argues Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick supports the automatic spending cuts, but "wont cut funding for robotic squirrels."

Another targets Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota as not willing to "cut funding for a musical on climate change" as support for "Obama's sequester."

NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said, "Because of their insistence on higher taxes and their refusal to cut wasteful spending, these Democrats are subjecting the country to irresponsible cuts."

The NRCC won't provide specific figures for how much the web ads cost, but they are expected to run for a few days. These ads are more cost effective than traditional print, radio or TV, and can be purchased in bulk with one buy pinpointing several media markets at a time.

But while the GOP blames Democrats for opposing their plan, this wave of ads does include a number of freshmen House Democratic members who didn't serve in the House the last time there was a vote on that House Republican bill. And while both sides attempt to shift the blame to the other for any damaging economic effects of the sequester, the vote for the debt deal in 2011 that included the cuts was supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

While they work to pin the blame on Democrats for these cuts Republicans realize that their own GOP members who serve in competitive districts could be vulnerable on this issue. Last month the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out an effort to brand 27 House GOP members as responsible for job losses. The campaign also used paid web advertising that argued "your pink slip – brought to you by House Republicans."

But those GOP members know the fallout could be politically harmful so they have been working to show they are open to bipartisan ways to replace the cuts as Democrats and the president attempt to paint the GOP as primarily to blame.

Republican Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia, who represents a district that is home to major military installations in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas and has faced competitive races before, has been open to closing tax loopholes and pushing what he calls "a responsible solution" to replace the forced budget cuts.

"We've found in all these fights that rather than be in a defensive mode, our members need to be out there on offensive. We know the President has a bigger microphone," Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for the NRCC told CNN.


Filed under: Ads • Congress • Debt • Deficit • NRCC
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Ferret out the BS

    It's easier to point fingers than spend the energy to really getting something done. No matter what the GOP says or does they are the ones that have not compromised and closed off the negotiations to make this happen. But what can anyone say when the GOP supports the tea baggers like their long lost cousins.

    March 4, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The Sequestrians on both sides are at it again. Someone suggested on TV today that politicians need to get out of the budget battle and allow the "allocaters" to do their jobs. That someone needs to be told that that approach has been tried already and it failed. It was called the Super Committee, which was staffed by a dozen "allocators."

    March 4, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. plain&simple

    The republican "base"loves the cuts.....right? This is the smaller government they want!!! Stand behind your words and deal with your convictions! OR blame Obama! Much easier than actually having a clue......The republican party,where ideas go to die.

    March 4, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Pledge to America 2010
    Returning to the constitution,
    Decreasing government spending,
    Reducing taxes
    Repealing Obama care
    Reducing size of government
    One promise republicans achieved that is Decreasing government spending now they don’t want celebrate the win what is wrong with GOP

    March 4, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. freedom

    Let's see of the dems can take what they dish out. But in this case, it's the truth!

    March 4, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. rs

    A little late.
    1. The House Republicans wrote the Sequester Bill.
    2. Speaker of the House Boehner crowed he got "98% of what he wanted" in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations that lead to the Sequester Bill more than a year ago.
    3. Just last month Boehner called the Sequester "Armageddon".

    Now the GOP is trying to walk this back. They say slowing the growth of the economy is fine, as is an increase in unemployment-after assailing the President for 5 years for slow growth and unemployment. They are trying to say the Sequester simply won't be so bad. They even try to blame the President of the United States for "thinking first" of the Sequester.
    Wrong, boys. The first Sequester bill occurred in 1986 during the Reagan years.

    Hey GOP- man up. You guys attacked the economy again, and you should shoulder that responsibility.

    March 4, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. JD

    Republicans have lost all respectability on this. No one in their right mind would believe their lies after sitting around for four years doing nothing because they didn't like a black President! Next year can't come fast enough! Our economy has been proven to already rebound from the money wasted on a war looking for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist in the first place and still to this day no evidence of it. The people spoke loud and clear during this last election. GOP can try to spin it anyway they want, bottom line is the majority of the American Public is not buying it. They see right through it! To make matters even worst, after screwing over the public, they give themselves a three day weekend. That's just rubbing it in our faces. We the People, 47% Included, will not forget this!

    March 4, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. Guest

    Plain, yes. Simple, yes. Factual, not so much.
    Both parties and the pres to blame regardless of the spin.
    Democrats have always wanted DOD cuts.
    Pres & Dems would rather the burden be placed on the backs of DOD/federal employees than to simply apply the cuts in a more responsible manner.
    Numerous and expensive wasteful programs will still be funded.
    Federal employees that voted for Obama are realizing how ignorant they are....
    Romney would have been a much better president. HANDS DOWN.

    March 4, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. dianne

    I have an entitlement program they can cut. Congress! They seldom show up and don't work when they do. They answer to no one. Take constant vacations on taxpayers dollar. And... thinks the government owes them a living with lifelong perks to boot! That all spells entitlement to me.

    March 4, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Another targets Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota as not willing to "cut funding for a musical on climate change" as support for "Obama's sequester."

    Good luck with the blame game, GOPers. Especially here in Minnesota. It would have been better if you fools had actually worked with the President these past four years. Giving us more of the same obstruction isn't doing much good for the future of your party.

    "and they have put an increased emphasis online, hiring a bigger staff and using resources to focus messaging on the web."

    Good luck with that as well. Simply put, if GOPers plan on continuing to use the Reince Priebus 101 rulebook on how to lose elections ... chances are GOPers will continue to lose elections. Which is what this new Grand Old Party of Tea Patriots has been all about: Reince Priebus 101 - How To Lose Elections ... My Way.

    March 4, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. dileep

    The illiterate people who support dumb PACs like Americans for Poverty funded by Kochs and their likes wanted super rich to pay no taxes and the middle class to go extinct and let the people who voted for the teabaggers feel how the blind approach to reduce spending indiscriminately will work out for them. Let them feel the heat and decide whether destroying their own lives by supporting the free enterprise thugs are worth it.....

    March 4, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. rla

    Wow do we need Romney now!! Bet he would have the problem identified and a plan to fix it in place alreadyNow we are in for more political fighting and little problem solving

    March 4, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    vic , nashville ,tn

    Pledge to America 2010
    Returning to the constitution,
    Decreasing government spending,
    Reducing taxes
    Repealing Obama care
    Reducing size of government
    One promise republicans achieved that is Decreasing government spending now they don’t want celebrate the win what is wrong with GOP
    ----------------–
    You forgot one. Separation of Church and State.

    March 4, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Commodore 64

    Uh oh, Republicans have discovered that all their voters will be dead in 8 years and that they better get one-a-them-dang-computater-gizmos. Folks, youve been clobbered in grass roots digital media for years. I've told every Republican that will listen for a long, long time.
    Even that won't work. I've been watching the attempt "go down" in my state and the bulk of it is traditional vs Tea party. Not everyone in America is looking for hate, fear, control, and derision.

    March 4, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. Pete

    It's funny how Boehner and company point fingers when it was they all along that created this mess..Pres.Obama had a plan with Boehner with cuts for revenues but Boehner because of the tea party caved and walked out of negotiations..Boehner said he got the 98% of what he bargained for with saying later no compremises ever and remember you republican posters that its your so called conservatives that almost unanimously voted in both houses for this sequester bill to go to the presidents desk, you created it not the president you idioticly point to..So after all this bickering acting like spoiled brats you realize that you've just given Pres.Obama your death warrent and he happily signed it didn't he..After all this obstructionism,racism and just being unpatriotic you want him to work with you in the waning hours to rescue you all,its your arrogence that's been overshadowing your ignorence that's got you in this career ending problem isn't it and you expect help from the one you've been attacking since McConnells rant wanting him out after one term,how hilarious and how pathedic but you know republicans your party has got what it asked for all along just wait till midterms and enjoy your time off,permanently!!!

    March 4, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Tony

    Republicans want to replace military cuts with non-military cuts, so the cuts will hurt even more. The only way to deal with the constant fiscal crises is to have another election, so we can replace Republicans.

    March 4, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. Ancient Texan

    plain and simple- 57% of the American people think that sequester is the only way that cuts will be made. And 83% say spending must be brought under control.

    March 4, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. v_mag

    The first spending cut should have been a 100% cut in congressional pay, followed by a 100% cut in retirement and healthcare for all present and former members of Congress. Since they don't bother to do their jobs, they should not get paid. That is no more than what would happen to the rest of us if we performed on the job as they do.

    March 4, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Just a thought

    Ha Ha only the intellectually soft would accept these GOP/Re-Dumblican arguments. THE HOUSE controls the budget, the President DOES NOT. If these idiots are saying its was Obama's idea, then the President should have suggested these idiots fly to the moon and stay there....WOW, we would have all been better off.

    March 4, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. maximusvad

    Praise and blame are forms of attempts at manipulation. The American public saw through it this last election....and we can still see through it now.

    March 4, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. v_mag

    Ancient Texan said: "plain and simple- 57% of the American people think that sequester is the only way that cuts will be made. And 83% say spending must be brought under control."
    ----–
    57% of Americans sat sequester is the only way cuts will be made because the Repugnant politicians care nothing for the country or for doing their jobs in Congress. Spending is only half the problem. Tax loopholes for the rich and corporations are a big salami hanging out there that Repugnants refuse to acknowledge. If cuts are made without holding the wealthy to account, we will be taxing the poor and middle class to fund "lifestyles of the rich and famous". Maybe that's okay with you, but 99% of America does not agree with you.

    March 4, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the bill that had sequester in it let the heads of departments a little more lattitude in what they could cut, the cuts would have been a little more targeted. Some of these should have been done by the department heads earlier in their budget requests to Congress.

    March 4, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |