Progressives strike back in debt ceiling ad wars
July 29th, 2011
08:45 AM ET
11 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. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The "progress" to which "Progressives" refer is toward abject, total, socialism, or worse, which means that even the present outrageous levels of taxation and spending aren't enough for them. The GOP isn't "holding the economy hostage," it's trying to protect the economy from utter ruin by the Left–look what "progressivism" has done to a lot of European countries.

    July 29, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. DJ in TX

    It's about time. While I'm not a progressive, conservative groups have taken out ads, why not progressive groups. Thanks to the Supreme Court, we're going to see so many ads until the election, we're going to get sick of seeing them.

    July 29, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party represent the same Judeo-Christian ideologically driven government that caused our founding fathers to start the Revolutionary War in the first place. Do not be mislead by the call for lower taxes, and analogies to the Boston Tea Party patriots.

    Those Boston Tea Party patriots would detest and revolt against today's Republican Tea Party patriots. Know your history, people.

    July 29, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. NVa Native

    There is a long list of conservative religious radicals here in Va that need to be exposed for what they are – self-righteous pea-brains who claim to hold dominion over the rest of us while telling us what is right and what is wrong, what we can or can't do according to their narrow & arrogant opinions.

    The Founding Fathers (who of course were the liberals of their time) and many from Va – would denounce Cantor, McDonnell, Cuccinelli (one of the worst), Ford, Allen, Bollen, Pat Robertson, Riggel, Schrock, etc., for the Tory scoundrel threatening our country and our Democracy.

    July 29, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Bob in Pa.

    AFSCME has no business being in any political discussion or pushing advertising. It is an outright conflict of interest. They cannot negotiate in good faith why backing political candidates or measures. It is time that congress puts an end to AFSCME's involvement in political discussions.

    July 29, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    "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 the Republicans were busy robbing the Treasury. They even raided the SSI surpluses like Reagan did, a fact that I learned from an editorial in the Heritage Foundation web site archives.

    July 29, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Watcher

    There are no "progressive" groups behind these ads - all of the groups are either public employees unions, or nearly 100% backed by public employee unions.

    Let's see, public employee unions want more spending and more taxes so that there are more unionized public employees who pay more union dues. Sounds about right.

    July 29, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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