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Rosen attacks Heller as 'Senator Spineless' in new ad focused on ACA-repeal attempts

Megan Messerly
Megan Messerly
Campaign Ads 2018Election 2018Health CareIndyBlog

An orange inflatable tube man with yellow hair and a black tie is the star of Congresswoman Jacky Rosen’s latest television ad in her bid for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Dean Heller.

The 60-second spot, which begins airing on television tomorrow and online today, draws parallels between the senator’s waffling positions on bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last summer to the motions of the tube man waving in the wind, featured prominently throughout the ad. The ad will run statewide on broadcast and cable and is backed by a six-figure buy.

The ad is also featured prominently on a new website paid for by Rosen’s campaign,, which includes details about Heller’s votes on the federal health-care law and critical quotes about Heller.

The ad includes a clip from a June 2017 press conference in which Heller, standing alongside Gov. Brian Sandoval, held up a copy of a 147-page proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and declared that it was “simply not the answer.” At the press conference, Heller detailed a long list of concerns with the legislation, including that it didn’t protect vulnerable Nevadans, it would mean a loss of coverage for millions of Americans and he wasn’t confident that it would lower health-care costs.

“I’m telling you right now I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans,” he says in the clip, featured in the ad.

A little more than a month later, Heller voted to open debate on that same piece of legislation and then voted to support what was referred to as a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act that would have axed the federal health-care law’s individual and employer mandates. Although the measure did not succeed at the time, Congress eventually repealed the individual mandate as part of its tax bill in December.

The ad frames Heller as pressured by Trump into supporting repeal and replace by juxtaposing a news clip announcing that “Senator Dean Heller from Nevada is a no” against another one saying that “the threats from President Trump [over the health-care law] are loud and clear.” It also includes a well-publicized clip of Trump goading Heller over his back and forth positions on repeal and replace as Heller laughs alongside him.

“This was the one we were worried about, you weren’t there, but you’re gonna be,” Trump says.

The ad says that Heller “broke his promise” when he voted for the skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act, calling him a “deciding vote” on the bill, and even includes a clip of Heller’s vote on the Senate floor. Other news clips included in the ad call Heller’s move a “complete 180” and say that the Republican senator “decided not to cross Trump.”

“Senator Spineless Dean Heller,” the narrator says. “He’s not standing up for Nevada.”

Watch the ad below:


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