October 15th, 2010
01:19 PM ET
12 years ago

Republicans spending big bucks linking Democrats to Pelosi

New York (CNN) – Tying Democratic candidates to Nancy Pelosi is one of the biggest Republican themes this election season.

The amount Republicans are spending to fill the airwaves with that message is staggering: $42 million dollars.

That's how much Republicans have spent so far on television ads linking their opponents to the House Speaker, according to data calculated for CNN by Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads.

Pelosi has appeared in 365 ads nationwide, which have run over 112,000 times, and those figures are climbing daily as Republicans continue to produce new political commercials attempting to paint Democrats as inside-`Washington liberals in lockstep with Pelosi.

Tracey says that doesn't even include a slew of ads where Pelosi is pictured, but not specifically named by the narrator.

Although other controversial political figures like Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy have been used in ads like this, Tracey says Pelosi is being used "at a level that is equal to or greater than any other in the past."

The ads are coming from virtually every corner of the GOP world: The National Republican Campaign Committee, outside GOP groups, and candidates themselves.

One of the NRCC's standard ads used in multiple races across the country begins by showing the number of times the Democratic candidate has allegedly voted for Pelosi's agenda, along with images of the Democrat with an unflattering picture of Pelosi.

For example, an ad running in Ohio says, "is Nancy Pelosi right over 90 percent of the time? That's how often Zach Space voted with her, including the $800 billion failed stimulus."

New York GOP challenger Ann Marie Buerkle began airing an ad this week against Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei that says "San Francisco already has one vote in Congress. It doesn't need ours."

And the Commission for Hope Growth and Opportunity, a Republican outside group, is running ads against Pennsylvania Democrat Paul Kanjorski, New Hampshire Democrat Carol Shea Porter and Florida Democrat Suzanne Kosmos in which their faces are on a gold coin with Pelosi's. A narrator, in a mocking tone, tells viewers they can own a "collectible for just your share of the national debt, plus all the taxes Pelosi can think of."

Republicans think Pelosi is such a valuable villain, she is even appearing in ads for candidates in local races that have nothing to do with Congress or Washington.

Steve French is running for State Senate in Alabama, and is airing a television ad against his Democratic opponent which says "Slade Blackwell is a candidate Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi would love."

A CNN/Opinion Research Poll taken last month shows why Republicans believe this strategy is so powerful. In that poll, 33% had a favorable opinion of Pelosi. 51% have an unfavorable opinion.
Pelosi has consistently shrugged off the fact that she is cast as the GOP bogeyman, or in this case, bogeywoman.

When asked about the new data showing $42 million spent in ads, Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider responded that "the Speaker is targeted for one reason – she's effective."

"These Republican ads show that they have no ideas and that the Republican agenda, being funded by the special interests, will ship good-paying American jobs," said Crider.

Filed under: 2010 • Nancy Pelosi • Republicans
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Gale

    Well they should. When you lie down with dogs, your gonna get fleas!!

    October 15, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Cosmo

    $42 million dollars! So much for fiscal restraint and responsibility GOP. You can pump all the corporate/foreign/special interest money that your weasle/dirty tricks brigade can glom from the wealthy who are trying to contiue to feather their own nests, but it will be the people who will ultimately decide. On November 2nd, say no to disinformation and purchased elections.

    October 15, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Shari from Madison

    What do you expect? The repugnant republican's are trying to buy this election so their corporate sponsor's can totally control the country. Repubs are bought and paid for and they will do whatever their corporate sponsors tell them to do. It will be hell if repubs get in.

    October 15, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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