Heard on the Hill

NRCC Makes Democratic Candidates 'Nasty'

Facebook videos experiment with a different style

(NRCC Facebook)

Is your Facebook news feed full of “Tasty” videos showing you new recipes? Look out for “Nasty Cooking” videos showing you not only recipes, but gross ones paired with whom you should vote for.

The National Republican Congressional Committee rolled out Nasty Cooking on Facebook last week to poke fun at Democrats running for Congress.

On Thursday, the committee released a video with the tagline “Steve Santarsiero for Congress in PA-8? Ew. Send it back” and another with the tagline “Support Brad Schneider in Illinois 10? No thanks, we're full.”

Schneider, the Democratic former congressman who is seeking a rematch against incumbent GOP Rep. Robert J. Dold, makes a “phony pizza,” according to the NRCC.

“I think what you’re seeing the NRCC do is try to protect some of their folks down ballot if the wave emerges,” said Ken Goldstein, a politics professor at the University of San Francisco.

“When waves emerge … a bunch of districts come into play that nobody thought would be in play,” Goldstein added. “If things continue to be challenging at the top of the ticket and it does become a landslide, they’ve sowed some doubt in some of these races that a Democrat might be able to take advantage if there is a wave.”

[The House: 10 Most Vulnerable]

The anti-Schneider video shows the pizza ingredients with a doctored photo of Schneider in the corner wearing a chef hat. The ingredients are “dough,” “tomato sauce” and “failed promises.”

The video text reads, “Schneider ran on the promise of bipartisanship but votes with Pelosi 90 percent of the time. Schneider initially opposed the Iran deal but changed his mind and now supports the deal 100 percent.”

Meanwhile, a not-very-appetizing pizza is being prepared.

These videos are appearing on Facebook feeds, just like the original “Tasty” videos.

“Everyone always says it’s going to be the end of TV ads. This year, it’s not the end of TV ads but it is the year when budgets really went more for digital,” Goldstein said. “Now there is this realization that message rather than money shines through and so you have this relentless experimenting of new styles.”

Other videos on the page target:

  • Tom Suozzi, who is running in New York's 3rd District for Rep. Steve Israel’s open seat
  • Nebraska Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford
  • Morgan Carroll, who is running in Colorado 6th District against Rep. Mike Coffman
  • California Democratic Rep. Ami Bera
  • Former Rep. Joe Garcia, who is seeking a rematch in Florida's 26th District against Rep. Carlos Curbelo
  • LuAnn Bennett, who is running in Virginia's 10th District against Rep. Barbara Comstock.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.