The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will issue targeted press releases in the districts of vulnerable Republicans on Thursday to combat a new ad campaign from the conservative retiree group 60 Plus Association.
The effort goes after 60 Plus’ plans to air $800,000 worth of radio ads across 39 districts to applaud House Republicans’ controversial budget plan to reshape Medicare.
The DCCC will distribute the releases in each of the districts where 60 Plus is playing. The statements, like this one going after Rep. Paul Gosar in Arizona’s 1st district, note that 60 Plus has favored conservative plans to privatize Social Security and Medicare for several years:
“Last week Representative Paul Gosar votes to end Medicare, this week Gosar gets rewarded with false ads from a shady money group that supports ending Medicare and privatizing Social Security,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in the statement to be distributed to Arizona media outlets. “Representative Paul Gosar and his shady money group friends have an agenda — end Medicare, reduce health care benefits and increase costs that seniors have earned in order to pay for Big Oil taxpayer giveaways and the ultra rich’s tax breaks. That’s not right.”
60 Plus describes itself as “the conservative alternative” to the AARP.
“The House passed a budget that protects and preserves Medicare for years to come,” states the 60 Plus ad running in Arizona. “And our Congressman, Paul Gosar, voted to protect Medicare and keep it secure for future retirees.”
The DCCC press releases will draw some earned media coverage, but they won’t reach as many ears as 60 Plus’ collection of 60-second radio ads. In fact, Roll Call reported this week that the DCCC’s own campaign over the issue cost less than $6,000.
The debate over the future of Medicare, however, is not going away any time soon.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.