NRCC blasting Perriello — and Obama

July 1, 2009

The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) with a tough new television ad attacking him for his vote in support of cap-and-trade energy legislation – and isn’t afraid to connect him to President Obama in the process.

It’s the first time the NRCC has featured Obama in an advertisement, a sign it believes the president’s support is softening as he champions controversial legislation – especially in competitive districts like Perriello’s.

The 30-second ad begins airing today in the Lynchburg and Roanoke media markets, and is slated to run for a week. In the ad, Obama is shown saying that electricity rates would go up under the legislation.

“Tom Perriello’s voting with Obama and with Pelosi over and over. Call Perriello. Tell him he was wrong to vote for the Pelosi energy tax,” a narrator says in the spot.

Perriello won election last year on Obama’s coattails. His Southside Virginia district is fairly conservative, but its significant African-American population turned out in large numbers to support Obama. Perriello won’t be able to count on that same turnout dynamic when he runs for reelection next year.

The NRCC is also targeting an additional 13 Democrats with radio ads and robo-calls over their support of the energy bill. The other Democratic targets are: Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Vic Snyder (D-Ark.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) Zack Space (D-Ohio), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Deborah Halvorson (D-Ill.), John Boccieri (D-Ohio) and Ike Skelton (D-Mo.).

Of note is that four of those targets – Boucher, Skelton, Gordon and Snyder – have faced next to no competition in recent years, but Republicans believe their energy vote could potentially put their conservative-minded seats in play next year.
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