A pro-Trump outside group will pull its ads assailing GOP Sen. Dean Heller over his opposition to the now stalled Obamacare repeal bill — a move that follows massive backlash from senior Republicans who called on the organization to stop attacking the Nevadan.
America First Policies had begun airing TV and radio ads on Tuesday savaging Heller for his planned ‘No’ vote, with spots charging that Heller had broken his “promise” to voters that he would dismantle Obamacare — a stunning attack on a member of the president’s own party and the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election in 2018.
But on Tuesday evening — just a few hours after the TV and radio ads went up and after Senate Republicans tossed plans to vote on the legislation this week — the group, which is staffed with several of the president’s top campaign aides, decided to stop running the ads, two senior Republicans familiar with the decision told POLITICO.
An America First Policies official said the decision followed Heller’s decision to appear at the White House with other Republicans on Tuesday, arguing that it was evidence that he was open to negotiating on the bill.
Since the group announced the offensive on Friday, it has come under fire from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who privately fumed that the attack would make it harder to get Heller’s support. McConnell’s political team also reached out to the group, pleading with them to stop the commercials.
A number of senior Republicans, including former top officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also spoke out against the barrage, saying it would make Heller’s already difficult re-election even tougher.