Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has pulled a television ad from his opponent’s home market, giving in to criticism from Republican Rep. Lou Barletta that the family in the ad too closely resembles his own personal troubles.
The ad hit Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad accurately states that the AHCA would have weakened protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, but Barletta took issue with the ad’s parallels to his family.
The ad is narrated by a constituent with twin daughters who survived a rare childhood cancer, while Barletta’s grandson, a twin, is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
“[Casey] should take the commercial down and he should be ashamed of himself,” Barletta said in an emotional video posted to Twitter on Sunday.
Casey said in a statement Monday that the similarities were unintentional. The campaign pointed out that Casey has highlighted the constituent’s story in speeches for years, the Washington Times reported.
The ad will no longer air in the Scranton market.
Barletta is not the only Republican who has invoked personal stories to deflect attention from the unpopular Republican health bill.
Rep. John J. Faso — who is running for re-election in New York’s 19th District and voted for the AHCA — ran an ad recently featuring his wife, a cancer survivor. And in California’s 48th District, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who also voted for the AHCA, talks about his daughter’s leukemia diagnosis in a recent ad.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Pennsylvania Senate race as Likely Democratic, New York’s 19th District race as Tilts Democratic and California’s 48th District race as Tilts Democratic.
Watch: Tennessee Senate Candidates’ Debate Finale