Understandably, conservatives from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth have zoomed into the 3rd District to boost Chris Herrod, a former state legislator, ALEC member and reliable right-winger. Herrod won the support of Republicans at the district convention, but Provo Mayor John Curtis has scooped up the most endorsements, and lawyer Tanner Ainge has run as an outsider.
What are conservatives to do? As ever, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) lights the way, and a new Club for Growth ad might be the most remarkable example of Argumento ad Pelosiem we’ve ever seen. In it, Curtis and Ainge are accused of “pretending to be conservatives.” The evidence against Ainge? A flash card and narrator report that “Tanner Ainge says we need to be more ‘bipartisan’ like Nancy Pelosi.”
How’s that claim substantiated? The ad offers two sources: Ainge’s issues page, and a July 30 Pelosi interview on Fox. Indeed, Ainge’s issues page uses the word “bipartisan,” only once.
Democrats and Republicans share a desire to see more families have affordable access to healthcare—yet even on this metric, Obamacare has failed. We need a bipartisan long-term fix for healthcare that follows free-market principles and revives competition in the healthcare marketplace, which will lead to both better quality and lower cost.
That’s it. The Pelosi interview, meanwhile, did touch on bipartisanship. “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace framed the whole interview around whether Democrats, having seemingly thwarted the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, would work with Republicans. Pelosi suggested, as she had in an open letter to Republicans, that the majority party could fully fund the ACA’s subsidies for plans bought on exchanges; she then suggested that both parties could get behind something nebulous to “lower the cost of prescription drugs.”
Little did Pelosi know that those suggestions could be repurposed for an attack ad. Republicans and super PACs have made it clear that in a political landscape without Hillary Clinton, Pelosi will be the handiest bogeyman. This ad showed just how handy she’s turning out to be.