The American Action Network is reportedly behind a $3 million ad launch praising some House Freedom Caucus lawmakers' work on a conservative agenda — a sharp turnabout from the advocacy group's previous criticism of hard-right lawmakers.
According to Politico
, the print, digital and TV blitz will benefit South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a leader of the Freedom Caucus who clashed with AAN
when John Boehner was House speaker, as well as Reps. Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Ken Buck of Colorado and Morgan Griffith of Virginia.
Ads are also going up in districts of California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas, the conservative Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores of Texas, Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves, and Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble.
Print and digital ads and mail pieces will also go out in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's California district and in Majority Whip Steve Scalise's Louisiana district.
Freedom Caucus members left out of the ad loop are Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho and Justin Amash of Michigan, Politico reports.
The ads — which cover nearly 30 percent of the House Republican Conference — will blanket a total of 70 congressional districts; TV spots will only run in 12 districts, Politico reports.
In a TV spot for Mulvaney, President Ronald Reagan's famous ad declaring "It's a new day in America" is referenced.
It's the AAN's first ad campaign since Rep. Paul Ryan became speaker in November.
"We see an opportunity now with new House leadership to encourage members of Congress to fight for the things that we believe in, which is protecting seniors, balancing the budget, reducing the debt, fighting ISIS, fighting Obamacare and doing it all from a position of helping the conservative vision that this speaker of the House has laid out," AAN president Mike Shields tells Politico.
AAN was blasted for its ad campaign last spring that attacked Republicans for holding up Department of Homeland Security over the Obama administration's immigration amnesty orders.
"It's certainly not lost on us of course, that some members have been upset when we are on one side of an issue," Shields tells Politico. "But, in this case, they have clearly shown they're supporting the direction in the House, and we want them to continue to do that."
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