The National Republican Congressional Committee started running an ad today that calls Democrat Rick Nolan "liberal and radical." The group, which is backing GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, characterizes Nolan as being out of touch with the district.
"Rick Nolan once actually said that being in Washington made him more liberal and radical," the ad said. "But even after 30 years it hasn't worn off."
The ad then rips Nolan for saying the federal health care law enacted under President Obama "doesn't go far enough."
NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill said the NRCC has reserved $1.2 million in ad time in the Twin Cities market to focus on the congressional race in northeastern Minnesota.
"Minnesotans deserve to know that if Watergate baby Rick Nolan is sent back to Congress, he will continue his radical and liberal ways of the past. Rick Nolan in Washington means higher taxes, devastating cuts to Medicare and more of Nancy Pelosi's extremely radical job-destroying policies for Minnesota families." Prill said.
The NRCC's ad comes just a day after a political fund aimed at helping Democrats win the U.S. House started running ads criticizing Cravaack.
Minnesota's 8th Congressional District is expected to be the most competitive race in Minnesota this year. Cravaack upset long-time Congressman Jim Oberstar in 2010 and Democrats are hoping they can win back the seat in a district that has historically backed DFL candidates.
Update: Michael Misterek, spokesman for Nolan, released this statement on the ad:
"It is amusing that Chip Cravaack is trying so hard to run from his record of staunch support for the Tea Party agenda and the Paul Ryan budget, which will end Medicare as we know it by handing it over to private, for-profit insurance companies. Cravaack repeatedly voted in support of a plan that will saddle seniors with an additional $6,400 per year in out-of-pocket expenses. All the while, he continuously votes to protect tax break for Big Oil companies and the super-rich.
Rick will always stand up to protect Medicare and would never supports cuts to the earned benefits of seniors. Beyond that, he has a proven track record as a job-creator and as a champion for the middle class. These are the values that Rick shares with the people of the 8th District, where he was born and raised.
It's obvious that the Republicans and outside special interest groups are becoming desperate as they realize Chip Cravaack's day in Congress are numbered."