In the clearest sign yet that Republicans believe U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is vulnerable in next year's election, a GOP-aligned group is launching a six-figure TV ad buy slamming the Arvada Democrat as the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act makes its way through the House of Representatives.
The American Action Network, a conservative nonprofit, is including Perlmutter on a list of nine House Democrats it's targeting over the bill, which contains funding for the Biden administration's social welfare and climate change agenda. Perlmutter is seeking a ninth term next year in the 7th Congressional District under new boundaries that make the Democratic-leaning seat slightly more competitive.
"Liberals spend your money but take care of themselves," says the 30-second ad aimed as the screen fills with images of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive New York lawmaker known as AOC.
"It’s a cynical Washington game — special tax breaks for Hollywood, trial lawyers and the liberal media. Wealthy elites can even get right-offs to buy fancy cars with Chinese parts while they’d force a massive tax like on small businesses, and working people would keep paying more but get less. Tell Ed Perlmutter to oppose Pelosi‘s tax and spending scam."
AAN spokesman Calvin Moore told Colorado Politics the group is spending roughly $125,000 to run the ad on cable TV in the Denver market and on digital platforms.
Other Democrats targeted in AAN's campaign include U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee of Michigan, Josh Harder of California, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Andy Kim of New Jersey and Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger, both of Virginia. DC insider newsletter Punchbowl News was first to report Perlmutter's addition to the campaign.
A spokeswoman for the Perlmutter campaign declined to comment on the ad.
Perlmutter last week shrugged off news the National Republican Congressional Committee had added him to a list of Democratic incumbents it plans to target, saying he's excited to meet the voters in the redrawn district, which covers Jefferson County, Broomfield and six central mountain counties, stretching from the metro area to below Cañon City. The 7th CD currently covers northern Jefferson County and western Adams County.
Democrats have run ahead of Republicans in the new district by an average 6.9 points in recent statewide elections used as benchmarks for competitiveness by the independent commission that drew the boundaries.
Since he was first elected in 2006, Perlmutter has won re-election to the suburban 7th CD by double digits every time. Last year, he trounced Republican nominee Casper Stockham by almost 22 points.
On the heels of GOP wins earlier this month in Virginia and historic performance in midterm elections, Republicans expect to pick up enough seats next year to take the gavel in the House, where Democrats currently hold a 220-212 majority.
Republican Laurel Imer, a former state legislative candidate and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, is the only Republican so far challenging Perlmutter.