One day after national Republicans jumped into Massachusetts’ US Senate race to support GOP candidate Gabriel Gomez, his Democratic opponent seized the opportunity to unleash an online ad tying Gomez to national conservative leaders.
The ad put out by US Representative Edward J. Markey’s campaign, titled “McConnell’s Republican Majority,” paints Gomez as vital to the national Republican party’s agenda and attempts to link him directly to past statements by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, whom Democrats regard as a chief obstructionist to the Obama administration.
McConnell appealed to Massachusetts donors in an e-mail sent Friday from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, pledging to match donations to Gomez by three times, up to $32,000. The senatorial committee has also sent staff to Massachusetts to support Gomez’s campaign.
While Gomez has run as a relatively moderate political newcomer — and even vowed to back parts of President Obama’s agenda in a letter to Governor Deval Patrick in which he petitioned to be named interim senator — the ad attempts to connect him to national Republicans’ opposition to the assault weapons ban and the Violence Against Women Act. The ad shows text from the e-mail, in which McConnell declares a Gomez victory “crucial to taking back the Senate.”
“Mitch McConnell led Republicans creating gridlock in the US Senate,” the ad declares, before transitioning into a video clip from 2010 in which McConnell said his top political priority was to prevent Obama’s reelection.
“McConnell’s full-throated embrace of Gabriel Gomez sends a crystal clear message to the people of Massachusetts: send Gomez to Washington and he’ll join McConnell in obstructing President Obama and enacting a radical right-wing agenda that hurts Massachusetts families,” said Andrew Zucker, a Markey campaign spokesman, in a statement.
The Markey campaign plans to pour advertising dollars into the ad beginning Monday as part of a paid digital advertisement campaign, Zucker said.
Gomez’s campaign welcomed McConnell’s fund-raising e-mail and support on Friday, but would not commit to whether Gomez would support McConnell for majority leader if elected and noted that McConnell has no plans to come to Massachusetts and campaign for Gomez. Gomez campaign spokesman Will Ritter has also noted that Markey began the race with a fund-raising advantage amassed during Markey’s decades in Congress and is expected to pick up advertising support from left-leaning interest groups such as the League of Conservation Voters and a group funded by a California billionaire protesting the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The idea that a single fund-raising e-mail from a national Republican is on par with the crushing amount of outside special interest money coming in for Ed Markey is an overreaction,” Ritter said. “Ed Markey is desperate to run against anybody but Gabriel Gomez, because he knows Gabriel Gomez’s positions on the issues better represent the people of Massachusetts.”Wesley Lowery can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.