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Updated: 1:04 p.m.
Republicans are targeting Rep. Jerry Costello with a television attack ad set to air in his new Illinois House district — even before Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is expected to sign the state's new Congressional map into law later this week.
The National Republican Congressional Committee spot goes after the 12-term Democrat for supporting his party's Medicare plan. The buy totals slightly more than $20,500. A GOP source said the advertisement will air over the next three weeks on Fox News Channel in the St. Louis and Paducah, Ky., media markets.
"To grow old in America is to be one illness away from bankruptcy," an announcer says in the spot. "And Jerry Costello is making it worse. Costello backs a Democrat plan the media says would 'decimate medicare.' The Costello-backed plan would lead to 'political rationing' of health care taking choices from seniors, 'shred the social safety net' and leave seniors vulnerable, at risk. Call Jerry Costello tell him to stop bankrupting Medicare."
Costello has not had a close race for more than two decades, and Republicans argue he is vulnerable under the new Congressional map — even though he served as his delegation's point-man with state lawmakers who redrew the districts.
In addition to Costello, the NRCC also announced it is targeting the following Democrats with automated phone calls hitting them on Medicare: Reps. Mike Ross (Ark.), Jerry McNerney (Calif.), John Barrow (Ga.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Tim Bishop (N.Y.) and Dan Boren (Okla.).
Democrats have been criticizing House Republicans for their budget plan which dramatically overhauls Medicare.
Costello spokesman David Gillies said his boss finds the ads "ridiculous."
"He is a strong supporter of Medicare and Social Security, and this is an effort by Republicans to deceive seniors," Gillies said.