Steny Hoyer: Altmire’s Ads “Continue to Mislead Pennsylvania Voters”

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Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer has again jumped into the fray in the Democratic Primary Election for the 12th Congressional District, criticizing Congressman Jason Altmire’s negative ad campaign.

Altmire has released two ads claiming that his opponent Congressman Mark Critz endangered Medicare and Social Security by not standing up to the Tea Party, and a third ad claiming that Critz voted against the interests of seniors by voting against the Balanced Budget Amendment.

“I am disappointed that negative advertisements continue to mislead Pennsylvania voters,” Hoyer said. “The fact is that Mark Critz stood with Democrats in an effort to derail the extreme Republican budget that would have ended Medicare. Mark also opposed the Republican Balanced Budget Amendment that would have gutted Medicare and Social Security.”

In his first ad, released in late March, Altmire attacked Mark Critz for not “vot[ing] against the Tea Party budget that would dismantle Medicare and gut Social Security.”  At the time, Keystone Politics described the ad as a “pants on fire” distortion.

Then, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Congressman Bob Brady (D-PA) held a tele-conference defending Critz, with Brady explaining that that the “present” votes were an attempt by the Democratic Party to “let them [the Republicans] defeat their own budget.”  Brady said that he thought it is “wrong” to use this in a 30 second sound byte.

Congresswoman Schakowsky said that it was “even more disappointing that a Democrat [Altmire] who was intimately familiar with the strategy would distort what the Democrats were doing.”

Then, in mid-April, Altmire doubled-down on the claim in yet another ad, saying that “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.”

“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 at the time.  “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.”

In a third ad, Altmire stated that “Mark Critz won’t make the tough choices like balancing the budget, which is the only way to protect Medicare and Social Security.”

This was a reference to the Republican-backed Balanced Budget Amendment, which Altmire voted for and was opposed by the vast majority of the Democrats in Congress, President Bill Clinton, AARP, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and hundreds of other groups because it would lead to massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Critz voted against it.

With the most recent polling showing Critz trailing, but within the margin of error, it is increasingly likely that the 12th Congressional District will be one of the biggest upsets of the Primary Elections season.

For more reaction from leading Democratic officials, see this article that appeared in The Hill newspaper yesterday in which numerous Democrats in Congress called Altmire’s attacks on Critz unfair and false.

“I am disappointed that negative advertisements continue to mislead Pennsylvania voters,” Hoyer said. “The fact is that Mark Critz stood with Democrats in an effort to derail the extreme Republican budget that would have ended Medicare. Mark also opposed the Republican Balanced Budget Amendment that would have gutted Medicare and Social Security.”

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger was a contributing writer at Keystone Politics from 2011 to 2014.
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One Response to Steny Hoyer: Altmire’s Ads “Continue to Mislead Pennsylvania Voters”

  1. Julieann Wozniak says:

    I figure both guys are weasels, and both guys are lying. Both men are highly paid shills for the gas and coal industries who could care less about the damage said industries are doing to our health. So I’m voting my self-interest. If Critz wins, his lackey Dave Coder does not return to Greene County and once again curse us with his presence.