Congressman Jason Altmire has released another attack ad titled “Represent” against his Primary Election opponent Congressman Mark Critz in which he doubles down on an assertion that Mark Critz didn’t vote against Tea Party attempts to dismantle Medicare.
Altmire campaign spokesman Richard Carbo said that “Western Pennsylvanians stand with Jason Altmire because they know he fights for them. Congressman Altmire has the support of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Democratic Committees in Beaver, Allegheny, and Westmoreland Counties with a combined 74 percent of the vote. Come Election Day, it’s that support that matters.”
The text of the ad, narrated by a panoply of constituents, is as follows:
“Mark Critz, you don’t represent western Pennsylvania when you side with Wall Street over homeowners like me. You were wrong, Congressman Critz, when you failed to stand up to the Tea Party and didn’t vote against their budget that would ruin Medicare. And, you voted to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood when women need mammograms and health checkups. With a record like this, Congressman Critz, you don’t represent western Pennsylvania and you’ll never represent me.”
“I’m Jason Altmire, and I approved this message because I’ll always put western Pennsylvania first.”
The video for the ad is available here.
The ad echoes previous claims made in a previous attack ad that Keystone Politics described as a “Pants on Fire” distortion.
Shortly after Keystone Politics fact-checked the ad, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman Bob Brady (D-PA), and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) described the nature of the vote, saying that it was actually Altmire who voted against the wishes of the Democratic Party leadership because they were attempting to allow an extra-insane budget go through instead of the Ryan Budget in an attempt to tactically scuttle well-laid Republican plans.
Almost every Democrat voted “present” so the crazier Tea Party version would go through and be killed in the Senate. Altmire was, and still is, essentially attacking the vast majority of the Democratic Party by continuing this attack.
The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO then jumped into the fray, also defending Critz against this very same assertion that we’re seeing in today’s ad.
At the time, PA AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale said that “[a]ny ad that characterizes Congressman Critz as having not stood up to a budget that would ‘dismantle Social Security or gut Medicare’ is incorrect.” Bloomingdale added that “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.”
Later, the Alliance for Retired Americans gave Critz a perfect voting record for votes cast in 2011 to protect our nation’s seniors whereas Altmire only voted with the ARA 70% of the time.
Finally, President Bill Clinton endorsed Mark Critz, saying that “I am proud to endorse Mark Critz for Congress” and “I know that Mark will continue his work to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, to protect Social Security and Medicare, and do what is right for western Pennsylvania and our nation.”
While Altmire may have support of the Post-Gazette and the Democratic Committees in Beaver, Allegheny, and Westmoreland, his claim that Mark Critz “failed to stand up to the Tea Party and didn’t vote against their budget that would ruin Medicare” is not supported by Democratic House leadership, House Members, the PA AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.