Montana GOP ad highlights Republican candidate's independence
June 22nd, 2012
11:17 AM ET
11 years ago

Montana GOP ad highlights Republican candidate's independence

(CNN) - It's one thing when a candidate distances himself from his political party. It's another thing when the candidate's party supports his bid with an ad promoting that he "refuses to toe the party line."

A new television advertisement from the Montana Republican Party does just that, highlighting several House votes Rep. Denny Rehberg cast out of line with other Republicans.

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Rehberg, who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat this fall, is an "independent thinker," the ad declares.

A source with knowledge of the buy says it is for approximately $200,000. The Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant which estimates the size of television buys, says the ad began airing in several markets statewide on Wednesday.

The otherwise conservative Republican is seeking to oust the Democratic incumbent Sen. John Tester in a state where voters regularly split their ballots.

Montana's governor and both senators are Democrats. Rehberg is the state's sole delegate to the U.S. House. Republicans comprise two-thirds of the state House and hold 28 of the state Senate's 50 seats.

The ad highlights Rehberg's vote against the 2011 Medicare plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, which would have privatized the program and given future benefit recipients a subsidy to buy private health insurance.

Following that April 2011 vote, he said in a statement: "It doesn't matter to me whether it's a Republican plan or a Democrat plan, what matters is whether or not the plan is right for Montana. This budget – the first one we have even considered in two years – has a lot of good things in it that I fully support.

"But there are still too many unanswered questions with regard to Medicare reform, and I simply won't support any plan until I know for a fact that Montana's seniors will be protected," he continued.

Exit surveys from the 2008 election, the most recent year for which statewide numbers are available, showed 18% of Montana voters were age 65 or older and 37% were between age 45 and 64. Census data from 2010 showed 14% of the state's population were 65 or older.

Federal spending on health care is of special importance to Rehberg, who is chair of the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing that area.

Chris Shipp, a spokesman for the Montana Republican Party, told CNN, "Denny Rehberg has been an independent leader who has always put Montana first. In contrast, Senator Tester has been a rubber stamp for Barack Obama's agenda, putting liberal partisan politics ahead of Montana values."

Rehberg was rated as 81% conservative overall in 2010 by the National Journal, which rated Tester as 48% liberal that year.

The ad also cites Rehberg's vote against the Wall Street bailout of the Bush administration.

"In a very partisan town, Denny Rehberg stands out," the ad says. "And that's good for Montana."

Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said they were pleased to see the Republicans spending money against their own policies.

"It's nice to see Republicans finally admitting that their budget policies will absolutely harm Medicare for seniors," Canter said in a statement. "We're glad Republicans are spending money to spread the word about just how dangerous the Republican budget plan really is."

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Montana • Republicans
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    "I'm Barack Obama and I approve of this message" LOL

    On another note, Romney is asking Republican governors in swing states NOT to tout their state's lowering unemployment rate, because it would hurt Romney's chances by giving Obama some credit for the improving economy since these governors used stimulus funds to help balance their budgets. He wants them to lie and tell people things are still bad! But they are running for re-election and can't do what Romney wants.

    Romney is rooting for failure, my fellow citizens!

    June 22, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. scmom

    Need more like him.

    June 22, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Charlie from the North

    Politics is a funny thing.

    June 22, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Republican who supports President Obama

    At least he puts the people BEFORE the party. I think we should elect based on their ability to LISTEN to all of the constituents rather ignoring what may be best for this country. We would be in a much better position if the GOP actually listened to us rather than play political games with their filibusters and obstruction tactics.

    June 22, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. works for me

    Holy mitt... an independent thing GOP? Doesn't follow party lines? Actually has valid concerns for his people and not all about the party? What is this world coming to??

    June 22, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper

    Its like Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe telling GOP nutjobs to lie about the economy.....but the truth and his constant non-answer answre is finally catching up with his behind!!!!

    June 22, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. don

    Bravo congressman but be prepared for the wrath of your own party

    June 22, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. R. Walker

    If he's for the truth, then I'm for him, and I'm a democratic voter!!!!!!

    June 22, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Sandy

    I hope this is not a bait and switch. Remember Republicans in 2010 ran on jobs and when elected they started passing a bunch of laws pertaining to abortion, women's rights, busting unions etc.? They completely abandoned jobs.

    June 22, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Montana isn't a State that younger people are flocking to and it's not like he's really stepping out of line with the Republicans, he doesn't have a choice when he considers his aged population. Most Republicans don't care about the young, old, babies, unemployed, poor, sick, blacks, hispanics, poor whites, you name it, they only care about themselves and the rich.

    June 22, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Wake up people

    That's what I think too Sandy. He's saying this now to get elected and oust the democrat but as soon as he is elected, his true colors will show. Don't trust them!

    OBAMA and straight Democratic ticket 2012!

    June 22, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Rehberg – 81% Conservative

    Tester – 48% Liberal

    The GOP just can't stop lying. Why do Americans believe them? The facts speak for themselves.

    June 22, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. tony

    Could we possibly have a more screwed up group people? And they want to be put in charge of normal, sane hard-working Americans???

    June 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    Republicans=independent thinking Democrats=collective thinking Republicans don't care to go at each other while Democrats follow blindly without question, research, analysis, open mindness. Republicans say "I will decide". Democrats say "tell me what I should do". This Republican disagrees and says it, Democrats tell Bloomberg is okay for him to tell them they don't drink a large glass of sugary beverage. He does say there are many unanswered questions and he won't support until he knows the facts that Montana seniors will be protected. Democrats don't lead, they follow.

    June 22, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Pander Bear

    Naturally, were a Democrat doing something similar, posters like Bender and Truthy would be all over it calling it a sign of Obama's impending demise.

    June 22, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    There is a growing trend of liberals, conservatives and others fed up with smooth talking Demo-Repub-Ocrat-Licans clubhouse. In my state more people all the time (I checked the data) TURN OUT to vote (not stay home) and do NOT vote for the single party DemRepub choices.

    Keep the momentum going and lets get some Real CHANGE going on. Don't be scared! The DemoPublicans love you to be scared – full on true debate instead of corporate smoothies (Romney / Obama) would invigorate this country.

    June 22, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Myviewis

    I think independent thinking works better than collective thinking. To me there is a great danger in collective thinking, easier to manipulate, do without question. I admire this Republican for speaking his mind, analyzing things, seeking the truth, protecting the people and having no fear of other Republicans. Democrats fear to speak against their own and would rather do the wrong thing than to contradict for fear of backlash.

    June 22, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |