AMAC Newsline By Seamus Brennan
With polls showing rising GOP fortunes in key gubernatorial races in Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Wisconsin, a conservative PAC is now looking to help expand the Senate map for Republicans—both in key swing states and in blue enclaves like Connecticut and New York. The PAC’s new 5-state ad campaign extends to Arizona, New Hampshire, returns to New York, and for the first time goes into Nevada—but the PAC is focusing particularly on Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), following the release of a recent Connecticut Examiner/Fabrizio poll showing surprisingly weak numbers for the incumbent Senator in his home state, which has long been considered a Democrat stronghold.
The ad, which will air on nightly broadcast news in Hartford through next week, alleges that “the most dangerous place in Washington and Connecticut is standing between Blumenthal and a TV camera.” Playing on Blumenthal’s character flaws, the spot charges that the Connecticut Senator “even completely fabricated a story about his military service in Vietnam” alongside a headline reading “INSULT TO VETERANS.”
Around the halfway mark of the two-minute TV spot, the ad pins Blumenthal as Biden’s “key enabler,” noting that he votes with Biden 98 percent of the time and “cast the deciding vote on huge spending bills that cause shattering inflation and recession”—referring to the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which economists predict will even further aggravate inflation and raise costs for Connecticut families. The ad also hits Blumenthal for his complicity in the highly unpopular student loan giveaway.
The ad’s principal thrust is the “extremism” theme, charging that Blumenthal is “too extreme” for Connecticut. During the spot, the narrator asks a series of pointed questions like “How can he say he isn’t a left-wing extremist if every time he votes like one?” and “Why did Richard Blumenthal go to the big city and forget the people who sent him there?” The ad also displays an image of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other members of “The Squad” with the headline “CORRUPT BARGAIN,” suggesting that the far-left wing of the Democrat Party and its billionaire donors have scared Senate Democrats like Blumenthal into pivoting further to the left than his constituents wanted.
Suggesting that Blumenthal’s seat may well be endangered, George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom Action, the group that is running the spot, said: “In Connecticut the polling has shown Blumenthal with weak support and his opponent Leora Levy pulled quite close in a recent Fabrizio poll and has momentum. She is an excellent candidate with very impressive educational and professional credentials but, most of all, she is an outspoken critic of Blumenthal’s leftist swing.”
“Republicans must expand the map and go for a big win in the Senate—people in Connecticut and New York are disgusted with Blumenthal and Schumer as symbols of a Democratic Party taken over by left-wing extremists,” said the PAC Chairman.
“While the ad attracted attention when we first ran it against Schumer in August, it really took off when some of the Arizona media noted that it had helped to boost the Blake Masters campaign by defining Kelly not as a moderate, but as an ‘extremist.’ So in a way, this is the Blake Masters ad. That’s when we doubled down in Arizona, and after that went to New Hampshire. All the way along, some cynics have been saying we were wasting our time, but now both of those states are very much in play. We’re hoping for the same in Connecticut. But also New York, where the Republican gubernatorial candidate seems to have a lead,” Landrith said.
The ad also labels Blumenthal as the “deciding vote in the Senate” who had the power to stop any number of Biden-induced disasters but refused to do so.
The unusual two-minute ad debuted in the same format as the PAC’s previous spots—which have aired in New York, Arizona, and New Hampshire. The format first drew national attention when it was hailed by one conservative news outlet as the “greatest campaign ad of all time,” and the Arizona media similarly credited the spot for “reviving” Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters’ campaign. The ad has since been featured by the New Hampshire Journal and was tweeted by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. And now, the PAC hopes it can use the same strategy to oust Blumenthal in deep-blue Connecticut.
Like versions of the ad that have run in other states, the first minute of the spot focuses primarily on the media for trying to cover up left-wing corruption, displaying headlines about media scandals and smears—including its suppression of the COVID-19 lab leak theory, censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell, promotion of the Russian collusion hoax, coverup of Hillary Clinton’s email scandals, and refusal to report on Biden’s blackmailing of the Ukrainian government. The ad also catalogues other political smears, like those against General Michael Flynn, students at Covington Catholic High School, and parents protesting anti-Americanism in their local schools.
The TV spot goes on to blame the media for elevating Joe Biden to the presidency by letting him run “from his basement” and “covering up his incompetence and ill health.” It then attacks Biden as “the worst president in modern history,” and features videos of him falling up the stairs on Air Force One and taking directions from the Easter Bunny at a White House event with the headline “EASTER BUNNY RUNS WHITE HOUSE EVENT.”
Alongside the ad’s debut in Connecticut, the spot is also returning to upstate New York in a new broadcast buy in the Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse markets. The Connecticut spot also coincides with a new buy in Arizona, continuing ads in New Hampshire, and a first-time purchase in Nevada—marking the fifth state the ad has reached this election cycle.
“These are not 30-second attack ads that try to manipulate people, but heavily informative narrative ads that work particularly well with independents, women, and young people who appreciate being given context and a story that put a larger perspective around the issues,” said Landrith.
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, Landrith’s ad campaign could ultimately prove instrumental not only in helping Republicans win back control of the Senate, but also in flipping seats in reliable blue states that no one predicted would be in play.