EXCLUSIVE — Five House Democrats that Republicans consider “vulnerable” in next year’s midterm elections are being targeted by the House GOP’s reelection arm over the push by some Democrats to defund the police.
“Defund police? Abolish prisons? Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress have lost their minds. And now they’re calling for more violence,” says the narrator in a new digital spot by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) that was shared first with Fox News.
The narrator urges viewers to call the member of Congress being targeted and tell them “to stand up to Democrats attacks on law enforcement.”
The ads will run in the districts of Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin (WI-03), Jared Golden of Maine (ME-02), Chris Pappas of New Hampshire (NH-01), Cindy Axne of Iowa (IA-03) and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania (PA-08), all of whom could face challenging reelections next year as the GOP aims to retake the majority in the House that they lost in the 2018 midterms.
The spots highlight comments by Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of the original members of the so-called Squad of diverse, progressive, House Democrats.
The day after the April 11 fatal shooting of Black man Daunte Wright by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota, Tlaib tweeted, “It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence.”
“I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” the congresswoman emphasized, as she reiterated her position that police are failing to protect the communities where they serve and must be defunded and replaced.
Wright’s shooting happened about 10 miles from the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty last week on three counts in the killing of George Floyd.
A couple of days ahead of the verdict in the trial, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, standing with demonstrators in Minnesota, called for the protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if Chauvin had been acquitted in Floyd’s death.
The comments by Waters, who is widely admired on the left, were quickly highlighted by Republicans who claimed Waters was inciting violence, a charge the congresswoman denied.
A video clip of Waters comments are used in the NRCC’s ad.
“We are going to ensure every voter knows Democrats want to Defund the Police. Whether it’s Rashida Tlaib demanding an end to policing and incarceration, or Maxine Waters encouraging rioters to engage in violence, Democrats can’t be trusted to stand with law enforcement and keep Americans safe,” NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams charged.
The NRCC says it will spend five figures to run the ads digitally.