ABC News’ Michelle Dubert reports:
Republicans want to make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a star.
In a spate of new ads released over the weekend by the National Republican Congressional Committee, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a starring role. The Hotline reports that in the 12 new ads the NRCC put out in highly competitive districts across the country, “Pelosi” is the second most-spoken word, giving her dubious credit for President Obama’s legislative agenda, citing the “Pelosi health care plan” and “Pelosi’s failed stimulus plan.”
The NRCC deployed a similar strategy during the 2008 special election season, when Pelosi was well-known but not the household name she is now, according to the organization.
“Nancy Pelosi is a weight around the necks of vulnerable House Democrats,” said Paul Lindsay, the NRCC’s deputy communications director. “She is as unpopular as the job-killing policies she and her party have forced on hard-working American families.”
With approval ratings mired in the 30’s, the implications of Pelosi’s waning popularity will likely manifest in hotly contested House seats across the country.
Meanwhile, Democratic candidates are also feeling the weight of Pelosi’s unpopularity. In a new ad from Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX), who is fighting to avoid getting picked off by Republicans this November, Edwards attempts to distance himself from President Obama and Pelosi. “When President Obama and Nancy Pelosi pressured Chet Edwards,” the voiceover says, “Chet stood up to them and voted no against their trillion dollar health care bill.” (In a twist of fate, Pelosi touted Edwards as a VP pick in 2008.)
Also feeling the heat, Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was noncommittal this weekend when asked whether he would vote for Pelosi for Speaker again in 2011. “I’ll take a look at that at the time,” he said.
The NRCC wouldn’t comment on whether Pelosi would be the focal point of more ads leading up to Election Day.