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Democrats Attack GOP Incumbents for Taking Too Long on Trump

New DCCC attacks target Republicans who have disavowed Trump

Texas Rep. Will Hurd was re-elected to a second term in the state’s 23rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Texas Rep. Will Hurd was re-elected to a second term in the state’s 23rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats want to remind voters that even if their congressmen have disavowed Donald Trump, it took them over a year to do so.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out this message for the first time in three new ads that target Republicans who condemned Trump only after revelations of a 2005 video in which the GOP presidential nominee bragged about groping and kissing women.

The DCCC’s ads, shared first with Roll Call, remind voters of all the other offensive remarks Trump has made that didn’t prompt incumbents to take a stand against him — namely, his mocking of the disabled and his comments about women and veterans.

The ads target Texas Rep. Will Hurd and Nevada Rep. Cresent Hardy, both of whom are on Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable House incumbents. Another ad targets Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen. The three congressmen said, after the release of the tape, that they couldn’t support Trump for president while Hurd also said Trump should step aside. 

All of the spots are the latest in advertising campaigns the DCCC’s independent expenditure campaign had previously announced.

The ad against Hurd opens with Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter. Hurd didn’t take a stand on Trump before the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video. His race in Texas’ 23rd District against former Rep. Pete Gallego is rated a Tossup by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.  

Paulsen, a four-term member from Minnesota’s 3rd District, also disavowed Trump’s candidacy after the video came out.

His race against Democratic state Sen. Terri Bonoff is rated Republican Favored. After the Trump tape was released, Bonoff released her own ad saying that Paulsen had refused to take a stand against Trump “for over a year.”

The DCCC spot picks up the same message. “Paulsen had over 18 months to speak up,” the narrator in the DCCC’s ad says. 

The ad against Hardy focuses on Trump’s comments about women. It’s a contrast ad that ends with an introduction to Democratic nominee Ruben Kihuen. Nevada’s 4th District race is rated Tilts Democrat.

Democrats around the country have been trying to tie Republicans — even those who had disavowed Trump before the video revelation — to the GOP nominee.


House Majority PAC, a super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House, has run an ad attacking Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo for being cut from the same cloth as Trump. “Carlos Curbelo shares Donald Trump’s dangerous views,” the narrator says. 


The super PAC ran a similar ad against Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, who made news with his own ad in August in which he said he didn’t much like the GOP nominee. 


“Before Donald Trump, there was Mike Coffman. … Stop Mike Coffman before he gives Donald Trump more ideas,” the narrator says.


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