It’s fair to say that if they’re not paying attention already, the debt ceiling crisis will likely be on the minds of Americans this weekend as the August 2nd deadline for default draws nigh. And as they tune in, a coalition of labor groups hope to use a new TV ad campaign to remind Americans of their side of the story.
The coalition — made up of AFSCME, SEIU, the NEA and Americans United For Change — has dropped ads on eight states targeting Republican politicians over the debt ceiling crisis, which seems destined to drag on until the bitter end — or maybe after, taking the nation into default. The message from labor: “If the Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, military pay Americans are counting on don’t arrive after August 2, thank Republicans in Congress.”
Democrats, led by President Obama, have been warning that entitlement payments may be delayed should Congress fail to raise the national borrowing limit. That’s a result that even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said will be bad news for the GOP. The union spots lay the groundwork for what will likely be a common refrain among Democrats should it actually come to default.
The new spots will run in media markets targeting Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA).
The ads feature populist-friendly images of “millionaires” stepping out of limos and “oil company execs” standing in front of their private jets. The labor ads say these are the folks the GOP is protecting by refusing to compromise over raising the borrowing limit.
Here’s the version of the spot running against Cantor: