Sen. Martha McSally has a new campaign ad featuring a cancer survivor who talks about how her “path collided” with McSally, whom she describes as a champion for protecting those with pre-existing medical conditions.
The emotional television ad, which started Thursday, doesn’t disclose that the woman worked for McSally’s congressional office and as a campaign staffer over the years or that in 2014 she helped defend McSally's attackson the Affordable Care Act and roll its coverage protections back.
In the ad, Kristen Douglas talks about her severe health issues during her late 20s. After a year of testing, doctors found a mass in her brain and, with medical bills mounting, she said she got a letter from her insurance company dropping her.
Six weeks after Douglas was given a clean bill of health, she met McSally, who Douglas says in the ad gave her a “new sense of hope.”
“Martha McSally will fight tirelessly to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are insured,” Douglas said in the ad, which features her sitting alongside McSally and an image of the two women hugging.
The candidates and their allies have blistered each other during pivotal political moments over the past year — such as impeachment — but both sides are sharpening their attacks as the 2020 cycle heats up.
Liberal outside groups are blasting McSally with ads that largely focus on her health care record.
Conservative groups and allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who warned this week that the battle for control of the Senate will be a “dogfight” — are readying their attacks against Kelly.
To hold onto the Republican majority, the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund has reserved $9 million in Arizona through outside group Defend Arizona. SLF has spent about $146,000 over the past three months on digital ads and production costs to bolster McSally’s image, according to federal campaign reports. The National Republican Senatorial Committee said it was investing $5.7 million in the race.
Meanwhile, Democrats already have spent millions on the race and are committing millions more. The Senate Majority PAC, which is aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced an early reservation of $15.7 million of spending in the race while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending $6.4 million in the race.
Flake, who left the Senate in 2019, maintained there is still a silent resentment among Republicans for Trump, whose popularity among GOP voters remains stratospheric.
“I don’t know anyone who thinks that this is the future of the party. This is a demographic cul-de-sac we’re in, if nothing else,” Flake said. “Anger and resentment only go so far; you have to have a governing philosophy. I don’t know of any of my colleagues who really believe this is it.”
Flake also alluded to his dismay at Trump's February campaign rally in Phoenix. That event, among the last held before the coronavirus forced the nation into lockdown, featured an array of Arizona Republicans on stage with the president, from Gov. Doug Ducey and Sen. Martha McSally to all four of the state's GOP House members.
“The other night it was painful to watch the rally in Arizona: the president onstage with virtually all of my Republican colleagues from Arizona — the governor on down, some of whom had been reluctant previously to be on a campaign stage with the president. But who have just completely and utterly thrown in. Total capitulation of the party to Trumpism,” Flake said.
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