Liberal groups plan ad buy against local Republican during GOP presidential debates

Chris Moody
January 6, 2012

CONCORD, N.H.--Two liberal groups are teaming up for an ad buy in New Hampshire that will air during the Republican presidential debates this weekend, singling out Rep. Charlie Bass for his support of a Republican Medicare overhaul plan last year.

Sponsored by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, the 30-second spot, which first ran in May, shows a retired woman accusing Bass of voting to "end Medicare" when he voted for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's plan that would transition the program into a voucher system that allows seniors to purchase health care on a private market. The plan ultimately passed in the House and failed in the Democrat-led Senate.

The groups hope to tie Bass' vote in with the remaining members of the GOP presidential field, all of whom say they support the Medicare provision in Ryan's plan. The candidates have back-to-back debates scheduled this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

"Tea Party Representative Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare and this issue is one of the reasons he endorsed Mitt Romney," said PCCC spokesman Neil Sroka. "By airing this ad during this weekend's New Hampshire presidential debates, we are holding Charlie Bass accountable for voting to end Medicare and making sure that Republican presidential candidates cannot escape their party's extremism on this issue."

The recycling of the spot is a telling indicator of how groups on the left plan to criticize congressional Republicans in 2012. The website Politifact called the charge that Ryan's plan "ends Medicare" the 2011 "lie of the year," a designation that drew heated criticism from progressive bloggers and activists. The continuation of the ad, however, suggests that liberals weren't especially phased by Politifact's assessment.

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