Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who is challenging Sen. Mark Warner as he seeks reelection this year, released a video Tuesday that plays up the incumbent’s support for the federal health-care law known as Obamacare.
The Web video comes less than a week after Gillespie launched his bid against Warner (D), a popular one-term senator and former governor, with a mostly biographical video that also touched on the Democrat’s support for the Affordable Care Act.
The new video zeros in entirely on Obamacare, signaling that Gillespie sees that as the incumbent’s greatest weakness.
Titled “Who Was Right,” it splices footage of Gillespie criticizing the law on national TV with a video of Warner stating that the law would not force anyone satisfied with their existing health insurance plans to give them up. President Obama made the same claim, which Politifact dubbed “lie of the year” as cancellation notices went out to millions in 2013.
“They have gone whole hog. This bill is a monstrosity,” Gillespie is shown telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. The words “Ed Gillespie fought it” flash across the screen.
Later, the ad cuts to Warner speaking in a video made in 2009.
“Let me make clear, I’m not going to support a health care reform plan that’s going to take away health care that you’ve got right now or a health care plan that you like,” Warner is shown saying. The text on the screen reads: “Senator Mark Warner broke his word to Virginians.”
“Senator Warner’s comments in selling Obamacare are just one example of where his words are at odds with his record. But it is the most important one,” Gillespie spokesman Paul Logan said in an e-mail.
No one was immediately available to respond to the video on behalf of Warner, who has not yet appointed a campaign spokesman. Asked recently if he regretted his comment in the video, Warner said he thought “the original grandfather clause” — about existing health plans — “could have been interpreted in a better way.”
Warner also said then that he was working with a bipartisan group of senators on a package of “legislative fixes” to the law.
“I’ve invested in 50 businesses, at least,” he said. “Not a single business I invested in ever met their full original business plan. . . . This was a very imperfect piece of legislation, and it’s going to need fixes.”