Let the air war over Paul Ryan's budget begin.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House Speaker John Boehner, released its first series of television ads for the 2014 mid-term elections, a signal that Republicans plan to play offense in the messaging battle over their budget.
The ads, seen first at Yahoo News, target Democratic Reps. Joe Garcia of Florida and Sean Maloney of New York for voting against the Republican budget resolution, which the House approved Thursday. The identical spots emphasize that Ryan's proposal balances the budget within 10 years, and they will air during cable programs popular with women in their districts. The initial buy is very small--just $300 in Florida and $900 in New York for four days of cable ads, according to a media source--but it offers a peek into how Republicans will defend the budget until Election Day.
The commercials show a mother worried about finding enough money in her family budget to pay for a new bike for her daughter. "Families make tough decisions to balance their budget," a voice in the ad says. "Why can't Washington?" The ad goes on to accuse Garcia and Maloney of voting "against balancing Washington's budget."
The ad is part of a larger House Republican strategy to emphasize the balanced budget aspect of the Ryan proposal in their messaging efforts.
While the budget is largely a political document and won't be made into law--the resolution failed to pass the Senate late Thursday night--it serves as an outline of the Republican vision for the future. This proposal would overhaul the nation's Medicare system, slow the growth of federal spending by $4.6 trillion, repeal the 2010 health care law and balance the federal budget in the next 10 years.
House Democrats have vowed to make the Ryan plan the "central focus" in their campaign to unseat Republicans lawmakers in the 2014 election cycle, much like they did in 2012 when Democrats made gains in the chamber. Early paid messaging efforts like CLF's, however, suggest that Republicans are preparing a tougher offense this cycle in hopes that they can shape the message of the Ryan budget before Democrats define it for them.