Democrats try to tie GOP congressional candidate to Palin
June 7th, 2011
12:27 PM ET
10 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. Rudy NYC

    All you need to do is ask the constituents is this, "What will Huey do for you?"

    June 7, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. trust

    palin CANNOT win. won't ever happen. she quit her job in alaska.

    June 7, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Huey must be a very uninformed, but opinionated candidate to be likened to Sarah Palin. Palin only knows what she garners from her radically dangerous friends at Fox Phoney News, and is clueless about what is good for Americans.

    June 7, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. DIANA

    I live in California and I would NEVER vote Repulbican. Especially after what they're doing lately. I'll contribute to Harman. I've heard good things about her in the past.

    June 7, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. John

    If this guy Is Like Saran Palin ,I feel sorry for him. But I got news for Everybody. All Republican want to get rid of Medicare and all Republican want to give the RICH tax cuts. That because all Republican only care about Is the RICH AND BIG BUSINESS. That why the give the RICH tax cut AND BIG BUSINESS tax Subsidies and give they big Tax cut to take are JOBS oversea Or MEXICO. They don't care at all about the Everyday American People. Haven't they all ready Prove that.

    June 7, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. California Conservative

    She's responsible for Weinergate also.

    Bush's fault?

    June 7, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Democrat Swamp Inspector

    I live in California and I would NEVER vote Repulbican. Especially after what they're doing lately
    You mean like trying to save the Democrat run state from bankruptcy at the hands of the Democrats? How dare they!

    June 7, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Democrat Swamp Inspector

    Maybe Huey needs to run ads with Harman next to Anthony Weiner and ask which party they really want running the country?

    June 7, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Realistic

    The democrats can win the congress back, make more gains in the senate and keep the WH by doing one simple thing, oh never mind. Winniegate destroyed that because as long as democrats continue behaving like "Viagra uped' immature babbling baffoons they will have a hard time winning. They have republicans on the rope but instead of dealing a knockout blow, they stoop down to the levels of republicans.

    June 7, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. California Conservative

    California clearly cares more for illegals than it's own citizens. Recently shoving through it's own version of the dream act is proof. The federal government should take away all their funding to California until they obey federal laws.

    June 7, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. ART

    Leave Sarah alone , so what she makes up her own words, so what? So what she does not know American history, so what if she 's as dumb as a door knob.So what if she cannot answer a simple question correctly, leave sarah alone.

    June 7, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Most republicans are as extreme as the Taliban when it comes to women's rights. I cannot imagine anyone who would support the republicans who attack constitutional guarantees for all Americans.

    June 7, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sarah and Todd Palin aren't true blood Americans because anyone who belong to the Independent Party of Alaska planned a coup to sucede from the lower 48 States. That's like belonging to the Nazi party undercover.

    June 7, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. concerned liberal

    Leave the one party system behind. The Demo-Pubilicans have kept the same system running badly long enough.
    Vote for your favorite 2nd party.

    June 7, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Joe The Plumbler

    Being tied to Palin, the MAMA CRAZZY – what an insult.

    June 7, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    The problem with this is that we already know what a complete failure at everything the sociopath from AK is. If this huey is against giving women the right to choose i would use that instead. Those retghugs want to tell their little women what to do at all times while they do their c street thing, or pick up men in bathrooms, or go hiking in Argentina.

    June 7, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    BTW is she sitting on the throne? Either that or she is going to let some of that fire in her belly go. Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 7, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Republican Robber Baron

    The South Bay is pretty solid Liberal stronghold. However the wealthy real estate vultures and robber barons have jacked-up the home prices so high – that only elitists and out of state transplants can afford to live there now. This should give the R's a small chance in the snobby parts of the district.

    June 7, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. welfare prez retoric

    tieing them together is better than having an idiot in the white house and a weener in you caucus, haha, the dems are all weeniers and whiners

    June 7, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Pam

    I really wish the media would quit referring to Sarah Palin as a "former governer".
    She is not a former governor. She quit. She couldn't hack it.
    To be called a former governor implies that the person 'governed'.

    June 7, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Rick CT

    Diana, I'm happy for you. Must be great to be able to afford among the highest taxes in the country and still be in a state that's running the deepest deficits. The Dems will make sure that doesn't change.

    June 7, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. AC

    Hahn dynasty in Los Angeles, they will take nothing for granted. Janice will win the election, good luck!

    June 7, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. cm

    Palin is no more than a racist no nothing witch, with fools pouring money on her. she is a dancer for money.

    June 7, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Pam

    After all the insanity of the republican party, I would never vote for any republican ever again. They have gone completely nuts. And the people they are so proud of, are ignorant, mean-spirited and, surprisingly, dumb. Oh, they're crafty and cunning, but not smart at all. Weird what's happened to republicans.

    June 7, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Mack

    $arah Palin does not plan to run for President and will not admit it until the Repug race get in full swing. If she admits now that she won't run, she loses all media coverage and you know she does not want that!

    And $arah, please put Piper in somebody's school now so the child won't be illiterate like her Mommy Dearest!

    June 7, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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