The day after establishment Republicans reeled in victories over tea partiers in primaries, the establishment has bought in big with a high-dollar ad campaign backing GOP candidates across the country.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is out Wednesday with a multi-million dollar television and digital ad campaign supporting GOP candidates–establishment favorites–from coast to coast. They unveiled 13 new 30-second television ads for candidates that include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho, both confronting Tea Party challengers in the coming weeks.
The ad backing Simpson is actually an extension of a commercial launched last month. It personifies the idea of the establishment’s choice as Mitt Romney actually appears in the ad that will run through his May 20 primary.
“The stakes are very high in this election because Washington spending is out of control,” Romney says looking at the camera. “You can take it from me the conservative choice for Congress is Mike Simpson. I know because I have seen him in action.”
On Tuesday night, the Speaker of the North Carolina House Thom Tillis won the GOP nomination for Senate against one tea partier and a social conservative. He was able to pull it off without a July run-off, which both challengers were hoping for to increase their chances in a head to head, but it also would have prolonged the intraparty civil war and possibly make it harder for the Republican to defeat vulnerable incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan in November.
The chamber had been running ads on behalf of Tillis calling him a “consistent conservative.”
It was a big victory, especially with Sen. Rand Paul backing physician Greg Brannon and Mike Huckabee backing preacher Mark Harris. But, it’s not over. The battle between the establishment and the Tea Party will play out in the following weeks as similar primaries are held from coast to coast.
House Speaker John Boehner also easily beat out two Tea Party challengers on his way to his 13th term in Congress.
In the ads today, Cory Gardner–who was able to clear the field of primary opponents in Colorado–gets a boost from Marco Rubio while McConnell’s ad stresses his work against Obamacare, as do many of the House commercials.
“Mitch understands that,” a business owner says, referring to his work against the Affordable Care Act. “He fights Washington for Kentucky.”
The 11 House ads will run in districts of six incumbents including Simpson, David Valadao of California, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barr of Kentucky Dan Benishek of Michigan, Joe Heck of Nevada, and Chris Gibson of New York. And the rest support candidates including Bob Dold in Illinois, Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, Stewart Mills in Minnesota, and Doug Ose in California.
The ads not only focus on opposition to Obamacare, but also job creation in almost all of the spots. The GOP needs to gain six seats to take the Senate in November and establishment Republicans, including the chamber, are trying to boost candidates they believe will be stronger candidates in the general election, blaming some tea party candidates and controversial comments they made for losing the majority in both 2010 and 2012.