— -- Trusted Leadership PAC, a pro Ted Cruz super PAC, is strengthening its attack of John Kasich with the release of a new ad in Wisconsin as both Kasich and Cruz work to siphon away as many delegates as possible from Donald Trump.
The 30-second video, called “Kasich BFF” depicts the Ohio governor as working with President Barack Obama to expand the Affordable Care Act. The video will air across digital platforms and television stations in Wisconsin ahead of its primary on April 5. It’s part of a $500,000 buy and will replace a previously released ad targeting Kasich.
The video starts with President Obama praising Kasich for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Kasich has strongly defended expanding Medicaid in Ohio, saying it has saved lives and money and brought tax dollars back to his state.
“People say, was that a hard decision, to expand Medicaid,” he said on Monday during a town hall-style meeting he held in La Crosse, Wisconsin. "No, it was a piece of cake. If I got a chance to help the mentally ill, the drug-addicted, the working poor to get up on their feet, why would I say no?”
"President Obama himself praised John Kasich’s expansion of Obamacare, which this new ad highlights. It is a disaster and John Kasich, despite significant opposition in his state, decided to expand it. In the meantime, Ted Cruz fought in the Senate to dismantle Obamacare and promises to repeal every word if elected to the White House,” said Chip Roy, executive director of Trusted Leadership PAC.
The ad is the latest shot in the growing battle between Kasich and Cruz as the two presidential candidates seek to be the ultimate beneficiary of the anti-Trump vote. On Friday, Kasich condemned an ad released by a super PAC supporting him, New Day For America, that depicts Cruz as a liar with a growing Pinocchio nose that grows so long it wraps around his neck like a noose. Kasich in particular took issue with the ad referring to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted,” the nickname Trump has given Cruz and used repeatedly on the trail. Super PACS and candidates cannot communicate directly.
"I don’t run that organization but I’m expressing my displeasure and they are going to - we can’t communicate with them directly but I don’t like that word and I told them that, and I said it last night on TV and I would hope that they don’t use that word and take it down,” Kasich said in Hershey, Penn.
The same super PAC responsible for the Pinocchio ad also filed a complaint against Trusted Leadership PAC earlier this week, saying that a previously released ad targeting Kasich "falsely claims that John Kasich has accepted 'hundreds of thousands of dollars from George Soros.” Trusted Leadership PAC has denied the pro-Kasich PAC's claims and said that the "Pinocchio" ad targeting Cruz is untruthful.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson and Ines de la Cuetara contributed to this report.