AURORA | In an election year already defined by headline-grabbing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the campaign arm of the Democratic Party is launching a TV and digital ad campaign to further link the businessman to down-ballot Republicans.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has said they are coordinating a “seven-figure national ad buy” with two ads due to run starting Monday, July 11, and continuing through the Republican National Convention. The DCCC has labeled the move as somewhat unprecedented, given that a lot of similar advertising comes later in the election cycle.
Colorado’s 6th Congressional District — home to the hotly contested race between U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, and term-limited state Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora — is one of 10 U.S. House districts the ad campaign is targeting beyond the national spots secured.
The message of the ads — which come less than two weeks after Coffman’s campaign released its first ad for the 2016 election — highlights Trump and the majority of Republicans who have either voiced support for him or refused to disavow his candidacy. One ad, titled “Standards,” aims to suggest Republicans have put party loyalty ahead of their own standards in accepting Trump as their nominee. Another ad, titled “Sidekick,” likens Republican congressional candidates to “bystanders to the class yard bully.”
Both Carroll’s campaign and DCCC efforts in the CD6 race have sought to tie Coffman to Trump and his policy positions. In particular, a statement by Coffman campaign spokeswoman Kristin Strohm that Coffman “obviously” would support the Republican presidential nominee over Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton has been a main focus for connecting Coffman to Trump.
“Whether House Republicans stand with Donald Trump or refuse to stand up to him, the point is the same: They are putting their party over our country and have betrayed the values and standards that Americans hold dear. House Republicans have allowed a man who freely attacks people and intentionally divides our nation to be their standard-bearer without lifting a finger to stop him,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan. “As general election voters tune in with distress about the Republican party’s nominee, this ad campaign makes clear how unacceptable it is for these Republicans to fall in line with Donald Trump.”
Cinamon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Coffman campaign, has noted that Coffman — who originally endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for the GOP nomination — has not directly endorsed or voiced support for Trump. Coffman has gone as far as to criticize Trump for evading the Vietnam War draft in an April Facebook post, as well as urging him to retract a statement about the Latino heritage of the judge handling the Trump University lawsuit — a statement Coffman called an “un-American slur.”