EXCLUSIVE – An outside group that backs Republican causes is targeting a congressional district that the GOP considers one of the most vulnerable among House Democrats running for reelection next year with a new ad addressing President Biden’ massive infrastructure proposal.
The commercial from the American Action Network (AAN), shared first with Fox News on Monday, is running in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where two-term Democratic Rep. Jared Golden likely faces another challenging reelection next year.
The spot focuses on a restaurant owner identified as George B., who highlights that “to own the same restaurant that my grandfather started – it means everything to me.”
George B. then charges that “everything Nancy Pelosi is doing, along with the Washington Democrats, is wasteful, it’s socialism, there’s no accountability for the kind of spending they want to push. This fake infrastructure bill is really going to hurt hard working Americans. When I get taxed, it’s going to make things more expensive for me. It’s so frustrating to me because if they push this tax plan through, there’s a good chance I may have to let some people go.”
But multiple Democratic sources point out to Fox News that George B, the restaurant owner in the commercial, lives and works in Pennsylvania, not Maine.
A narrator at the end of the spot urges viewers to “call Jared Golden and tell him to oppose Pelosi’s fake infrastructure plan.”
Golden’s congressional district – the largest east of the Mississippi River – contains a number of small cities, but is mostly rural. Former President Trump won the district in 2016 — and captured it again by seven points in his 2020 reelection defeat.
Golden, a Marine veteran who deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq, narrowly won the district in 2018, as he became the first member of Congress elected by ranked-choice voting.
The congressman has a history of bucking his party on key votes. Earlier this year, Golden was the only House Democrat to vote against the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by Biden. And he was also the lone House Democrat to vote against a bill that would expand background checks on all commercial gun sales.
Congressional Democrats and the Biden White House are currently negotiating with Republicans on a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure compromise. But they’re also ready to try and pass some $4 trillion in spending in two Democratic backed plans if the bipartisan negotiations fail. The Democrats’ proposals would be partially paid for with a rise in business taxes.
“With family businesses still fighting to get back on their feet, the last thing they need is Jared Golden to shackle them with higher taxes to pay for trillions in far-left political priorities,” ANN communications director Calvin Moore argued. “It’s the wrong policy at the wrong time and will leave families and business struggling even harder to recover.”
AAN also highlights that a poll the group commissioned indicated that talking about job losses and its impact on small businesses appears to be the most effective messages in targeting the Democrats’ infrastructure proposals.
In this April 27, 2019, file photo, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, speaks in Bath, Maine. Golden was the only Democrat lawmaker to break with his party and vote against the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (AP Photo/David Sharp)
Golden and two other House Democrats who could face tough reelections next year – Reps. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire and Tom Malinowski of Maine – currently back a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan released by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
AAN tells Fox News that it’s spent roughly a million to run ads taking aim at the Democrats’ infrastructure proposals, with millions more dished out to go up with advocacy campaigns on a number of other issues in the districts of House Democrats considered vulnerable as they run for reelection.
The GOP controlled the House majority for eight years before losing control of the chamber in the 2018 midterms. But Republicans defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats’ majority in last November’s elections and only need to flip five seats in 2022 to regain control of the House. In modern times, the party that controls the White House traditionally loses roughly 25 House seats in the ensuing midterm elections.