House Democrats are out with a new television ad that argues Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman has failed on his 2016 promise to "stand up" to President Trump.
Coffman made waves last August when he ran an ad explicitly breaking from Trump, arguing "I don't care for him much" and declaring he'd "stand up to him" if elected. That message was a heavy part of the Republican incumbent's successful reelection campaign.
But now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wants to use those words against him in a new spot that borrows footage from Coffman's 2016 spot. In it, the ad argues that "Mike Coffman didn’t stand up to Donald Trump, plain and simple."
"Instead, Coffman voted with Trump more than any Colorado member of Congress," the ad's narrator says, pointing to FiveThirtyEight.com analysis that Coffman voted with Trump 95.6 percent of the time.
NBC News obtained the new DCCC ad ahead of its Tuesday release. It will be the committee's first spot in the Denver media market, where it has plans to spend significantly. Advertising Analytics data shows the group has booked about $2.3 million in ad spending there.
Republicans have long quibbled with those vote scores, since important votes are weighed equally alongside less important ones. And they cite Coffman's vote against the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last year as one way he's not afraid to prioritize his constituents over his party.
But the DCCC believes that Coffman is vulnerable on health care nonetheless, and is weaponizing Coffman's vote in favor of the GOP's tax cut plan, which contained a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. The party sees that tax vote as an opening to hammer Coffman on the issue that continues to poll as one of the most important for 2018 midterm voters, even despite his vote against the party's health care plan.
"Coffman voted for Trump’s tax plan to sabotage our healthcare. He voted for Trump’s tax giveaway, threatening Social Security and Medicare, threatening protections for preexisting conditions," the ad says.
Coffman has publicly called for a bipartisan approach to readdressing health care and joined 27 GOP lawmakers last week on a resolution calling on Congress to protect care for those with preexisting conditions.
Democrats have so far failed to knock off the Denver-area congressman in several tight races over the years. This cycle, he's facing off against Army veteran Democrat Jason Crow.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found Crow up by 11 points over Coffman, but the race is expected to be one of the tighter ones of the cycle.