Official portrait of U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, Photo Credit: Courtesy of US Congress
(CBS News) House Republicans often cast Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as their ideological bogeyman in campaign ads, and now House Democrats have cast theirs: Rep. Paul Ryan.
The campaign arm of the House Democratic Party is running a series of ads linking other Republican congressional candidates to Ryan, who is running to be Mitt Romney's VP. House Democrats have long planned on campaigning this year against Ryan's budget and plan to overhaul Medicare, but his new national prominence makes it easier for Democrats to campaign against him directly.
In an ad released today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) blasts Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle of New York's 24th district for supporting Ryan's budget.
"Ann Marie Buerkle voted to increase taxes on middle class families by fourteen hundred dollars. And where does the money go? To give millionaires a two hundred sixty five thousand dollar tax cut," a narrator says. The ad features a picture of Ryan holding up a copy of his House budget while the narrator adds, "It's Paul Ryan's plan -- and Ann Marie Buerkle voted for it."
In another ad targeting New York Rep. Chris Gibson of New York's 19th district, a narrator says, "Chris Gibson joined the Republican crowd in Congress and voted to essentially end Medicare. Chris Gibson voted for Paul Ryan's budget that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry."
DCCC chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., has called Ryan a "down-ballot disaster" for Republicans. "Mitt Romney grabbed the megaphone from us when he chose Paul Ryan," he said. "He branded this debate, and gave us the debate we wanted."
In an August 28, CBS News poll, voters were split over whether President Obama or Mitt Romney would do a better job handling Medicare. That same poll showed that Ryan remains unknown to many voters nationwide, with half saying they are undecided or don't know enough about him to have an opinion. Twenty-four percent said they view him favorably, while 27 percent viewed him unfavorably.