Who knew that a 30 second sound byte could generate so much backlash? Yesterday, Congressman Jason Altmire released a new attack ad against his Primary Election opponent, Congressman Mark Critz. In the ad, Altmire asserted that “Critz didn’t vote against the Tea Party budget that would dismantle Medicare and gut Social Security.”
Immediately, Congressman Critz responded, calling the ad “just completely false.” Then, Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady jumped in, saying “to hurt one of our own in a 30 second spot is wrong,” characterizing the ad as a falsity. On the same conference call with Brady, Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky added that she found it “disappointing that a Democrat [Altmire] who was intimately familiar with the strategy would distort what the Democrats were doing.”
Now, the AFL-CIO is joining the fray.
“Any ad that characterizes Congressman Critz as having not stood up to a budget that would ‘dismantle Social Security or gut Medicare’ is incorrect,” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale in a statement to Keystone Politics. “Congressman Critz has consistently stood up for working and retired people, that’s why the AFL-CIO endorsed him. This should continue to be a campaign about ideas and we hope both candidates will take the high road.”
Critz has been endorsed by the PA AFL-CIO, who has over 100,000 union members in the 12th Congressional district.
UPDATE: [5:25PM] Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer has joined Bob Brady, Jan Schakowsky, and the PA AFL-CIO in defending Congressman Critz, saying that “House Democrats stood together and voted ‘present’ on the extreme RSC budget in order to expose its radical policies. Doing this showed the American people just how extreme House Republicans are and how devastating their policies would be for our nation, like ending the Medicare guarantee. This was a vote to protect Medicare and derail the Republican Budget.”