Cotton’s first ad targets Pryor on Obamacare

October 7, 2013

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) released the first TV ad of his Senate campaign over the weekend, a 30-second spot that slams Sen. Mark Pryor (D) over President Obama's health-care law.

The ad notes that while Pryor voted for the health-care law, he voted against a House Republican bill that would have stripped health-care subsidies for lawmakers.

"What's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. But not in Washington," says the narrator of the spot.

What the ad doesn't mention is that the vote on subsides was tied to funding the government at the desire of House Republicans. Senate Democrats, demanding a clean stopgap spending bill, rejected the measure in the vote the ad cites, which was taken last week.

In a statement, Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey called the commercial a "blatantly false political attack."

The commercial illustrates how both parties can seek to use the government shutdown and its associated votes to its advantage. Citing the very same vote (Cotton voted "yes" in the House), Pryor could release an ad echoing the Democratic position, which is that GOP refusal to leave Obamacare out of the stopgap spending debate, even at the 11th hour, caused a government shutdown.

Updated at 4:06 p.m.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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