The liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee has won a round against the National Republican Congressional Committee — with the liberal group turning back an effort to get an ad targeting Republican proposals on Medicare pulled from broadcast.
As Greg Sargent reported, the NRCC wrote a letter to WMUR in New Hampshire and Comcast, complaining that a PCCC ad attacking Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) for having “voted to end Medicare” was false and demanding that it be taken down.
“As a social worker here in the north country, I’ve spent my life helping people with disabilities. Now, I have a disability,” the woman in the ad says. “If I didn’t have Medicare, doctors’ bills could wipe me out — and put a burden on my five kids. When Congressman Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare, that was an attack on New Hampshire families just like mine.”
Key quote from the NRCC’s letter:
The Budget Resolution as approved by the U.S. House of Representatives does NOT end Medicare. In fact, the Budget Resolution makes no changes at all to Medicare for current or near retirees, as none of the Medicare-related provisions in the Budget Resolution would even take effect until 2022.2 This fact makes the Advertisement especially misleading, as the woman featured in the Advertisement is a current Medicare beneficiary, and would not have her Medicare benefits ended, or even changed in any way, under the Budget Resolution.
(Emphasis in the original.)
The letter also cited PolitiFact’s take on the Medicare proposals, and its declaration that they did not amount to ending Medicare.
Adam Green at PCCC, which gave the letter to Sargent, told TPM that the ad is still running.
“There’s a reason that we provided the letter, made that letter public,” said Green. “It’s absurd on its face. Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman addressed this — and the Republican plan would absolutely end Medicare.
Did their attorneys discuss anything with the stations, TPM asked? “It really wasn’t serious enough to involve attorneys,” said Green. “We just have a basic background document that we gave to them.”
Chris Ellis, spokesperson for Comcast Spotlight (the corporation’s local advertising sales division) confirmed to TPM that the ad was still running. “First of all, the ad reflects and advertiser’s point of view, and we neither approve or reject ads based on the opinions,” said Ellis. “With that said, we provided the information provided by the NRCC, and we have in turn provided the information that was provided by the advertiser [PCCC] to the NRCC, and on that basis we decided the ad would continue to run.”
John Randall, e-campaign director for the NRCC, told TPM: “Well, you know, we have submitted a letter and we have asked for the ad to be pulled because it is factually inaccurate. According to PolitiFact and the Washington Post, their claims are inaccurate and false, and we don’t believe that ad should be on the air.”
Where do things go from here? “You know, we hope that the right thing is done, and this false and misleading ad is taken off the air,” said Randall.