The National Republican Campaign Committee is launching a social media ad targeting Rep. Ben McAdams, urging the freshman Democrat to oppose impeaching President Donald Trump.
The NRCC, the campaign arm for House Republicans, is dropping $1,000 initially on the campaign. The ad, shared first with UtahPolicy.com, will begin running on Facebook Thursday.
So far, 81 House members have come out in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. McAdams has not taken an official position on whether or not he would support an impeachment inquiry. Democrats in Congress have called for an impeachment inquiry against Trump after special counsel Robert Mueller said he could not clear the president of obstruction of justice.
The ad from the NRCC is not subtle, painting McAdams’ Democratic colleagues in Congress as socialists.
“Ben McAdams and his socialist Democrat friends have spent way too much time debating impeaching President Trump, and too little time actually solving problems for Utahns and the American people,” it reads. “Utahns aren’t focused on impeachment – they’re focused on how to provide for their families. It’s time for Ben McAdams to stand up to his socialist friends and tell them to get to work for the American people.”
The link in the ad leads to a landing page where viewers are asked to sign a petition asking McAdams to “stand up to his socialist Democrat friends and ask them to stop investigating President Trump.”
McAdams’ campaign manager Andrew Roberts pushed back hard against the ad, saying it’s not truthful.
"The Congressman is on the record not supporting impeachment. Nobody is above the law and Ben joins his Democratic and Republican colleagues in supporting a fact-finding process,” he said in a text message to UtahPolicy.com.
McAdams said during an April interview with Channel 4 he does not think Congress is at the point where starting an impeachment inquiry would be warranted. He reiterated that stance during a Salt Lake Tribune interview a day later. While those statements suggest McAdams is not on board with impeachment, they're not definitively against the move, either.
It’s not surprising the NRCC has started targeting McAdams so early in the 2020 campaign cycle. He is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in next year’s election, and defeating him is a top priority for national Republicans. Utah’s 4th District is one of 31 seats held by a Democrat that voted for President Trump in 2016. McAdams defeated Republican Mia Love by less than 700 votes in 2018, and the district is seen as one of the most Republican-leaning in the nation.
Already 2 Republicans have jumped into what could be a very crowded race to challenge McAdams next year. Republican activist Kathleen Anderson has officially filed to run for the GOP nomination. Military veteran John Molnar also says he’s running for the Republican nomination but has not yet officially filed. State Sen. Daniel Hemmert, State Reps. Kim Coleman and Jefferson Moss are also said to be considering a campaign for the GOP nomination as are Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie, KSL radio personality Jay McFarland and former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman.
Former Rep. Mia Love, now a CNN commentator, has said she may run again because she does not believe any of the Republicans running are capable of beating McAdams, but several Republicans tell UtahPolicy.com they don’t think she’s serious about a rematch with McAdams next year.