Democrats try to tie GOP congressional candidate to Palin
June 7th, 2011
12:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Democrats try to tie GOP congressional candidate to Palin

(CNN) - Democratic congressional candidate Janice Hahn is leaving nothing on the table in her race to succeed former Rep. Jane Harman (D) in next month's special election for California's 36th district.

Although the West Los Angeles district has traditionally leaned Democratic, Hahn's campaign says it is going up Tuesday with a television ad that compares her Republican opponent, Craig Huey, to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Sarah Palin and Craig Huey. Which would ban a woman's right to choose in every case? Both Palin and Huey. Which supports a radical plan to end Medicare but wants to give tax breaks to the wealthy? Both Palin and Huey again. But which one called Planned Parenthood a 'murder mill'? Only Craig Huey. We don't need Craig Huey's extremist right wing agenda," says the announcer in the commercial.

An email Hahn's campaign sent to supporters Monday afternoon linked to the ad and said, "I need your help. Will you contribute $50 to keep this ad on the air?" which then linked to a donation page.

Huey's campaign responded to the ad with an emailed statement from campaign consultant Dave Gilliard: “It is a shame that Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn would choose to launch her run-off campaign with a nasty, negative attack ad that twists and distorts the truth. It says a lot, especially about Hahn’s disregard for the intelligence of the voters in the 36thdistrict and her understanding of her own vulnerabilities.”

While she's well loved by many tea party supporters and other grassroots conservatives, polls indicate the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, who's flirting with a run for the White House, has a low favorable rating with the overall electorate.

Comparing one’s opponent to Palin and calling him or her “extremist” were tactics that Democrats used with mixed results in the 2010 midterms.

Rep. Joe Sestak won last year's Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania, possibly thanks in part to an ad he aired showing showing then incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter shaking hands with Sarah Palin. After beating Specter, he revisited the tactic in the fall when he aired an ad with side by side images of Palin and his Republican opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey, along with praise Toomey had for Palin. It did not work a second time around, with Toomey winning in the general election.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada won reelection thanks in part to a campaign that hammered GOP challenger Sharron Angle for being "extreme." Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet achieved the same result with the same campaign ad verbiage against Republican challenger Ken Buck. However, when Democratic candidate Jack Conway called Rand Paul, the GOP nominee, "extreme" in the Kentucky Senate race last fall, the tactic failed.

- On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Filed under: Ads • Congress • Janice Hahn • Sarah Palin
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Angella Jones

    Every Democratic candidate should tie their opponent to this STUPID SARAH PALIN. More importantly showing how STUPID she is. Her HISTORY lesson is NILL. She doesn't know anything. I watched a part of Chris Wallace interviewing her last Sunday on FOX. I was so embarrassed I switched channel. And if she is this DUMB on Fox (who provides her with talking points before what FOX calls an interview) can you imagine her off-script? Point in time was just last week when she was asked a simple History question. REMEMBER SARAH ATTENDED 6 DIFFERENT UNIVERSITIES TO GET A DEGREE IN JOURNALISM!!!!

    June 7, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. SCOTO

    Sarah Palin – The Democrats choice for Presidential candidate. Republican Presidential candidate that is. Surest thing for a Democratic victory in 2012. Any association with her is the kiss of death.

    June 7, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Latina

    I live in California and I don't understand how anyone can continue to vote democrat. I had enough! Conservative values is my way.. We are broke! When California goes down so does the nation. I was taught, when you fall get up and work smarter, change and figure it out. Freedom and enterpreneurship – love those words!!!

    June 7, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    If he comparable to Palin, her ratings are four floors below ground level so it can't be good.

    June 7, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. A. Rice

    Sarah Palin is running for Vice President. Ask any Republican in the race, if they would take Palin on their ticket as Vice-President and have a cup of Tea Party.

    June 7, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Miami2012

    To Rudy NYC
    And also All you need to do is ask the constituents is this, "What will Janice Hahn do for you?"
    o better What the Democrats are doing in the last three years that supposed will change this country and Washington? Yes was change for worse.

    June 7, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Alina77

    Isn't they all tied to Palin? Palinism is something that GOP happy to have. She is their icon she is an American dream with the label on her forehead "even idiot can be a millionaire" in America.
    Something is happening in America , something very bad, and I am not talking about the economy.

    June 7, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. DumbasRocks [R]s

    The [D] party should tie Palin around the neck of EVERY [R] candidate ruinning for office. It is a quite-accurate tie too: name me ONE [R] candidate in 2010 or 2012 campaign season that tried, or is trying, to distance his/herself from Palin and that whole disgusting element in the [R] party.

    And, after they tie her around the neck of the [R] candidates, they should set her on fire: remember the burning necklaces in South Africa?

    June 7, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Ferret out the B.S.

    The Republicans generally try the "Guilt By Association" tactic long before the Democratic candidates. Hooray for Hahn, this is the political mean season.

    June 7, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    No one in their right mind would vote for a Republican again. They have lied to us about creating jobs. The have taken away our rights state-by-state – voting rights, worker rights, and womens rights to healthcare. They have lied to us about everything just to shut us up so they can continue to only serve their CORPORATE bosses and abuses. NO MORE REPUBLICANS IN 2012. WE NEED REAL LEADERS – SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS WHO ARE WORKING TO PROTECT YOU FROM THINGS LKING THE REPUBLICAN KILLING OF MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY.

    June 7, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Nija

    Just listen to FALSE NEWS and you will get the RIGHT NEWS.

    June 7, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. diridi

    GOP drama, it is all this mess...o.k, I never vote any other GOP thug in my entire life.....

    June 7, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Diana you live in California and would never vote Republican? LOL so THAT'S why CA is in such a mess. Yes, by all means, leave it up to the Democrats to screw it up even worse. How's your social services and illegal aliens doing? Taking away your tax dollars much? LMFAO.

    June 7, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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