DENVER — Republicans aren’t buying Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s outrage over the new ad from GOP challenger Cory Gardner that mentions Udall’s father and cousins in an attempt to portray the incumbent as the scion of a western political dynasty who embodies Washington’s status quo.
Instead, they’re doubling down — or, at the very least, having some fun at Udall’s expense.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched a new web video series that is a spoof on the old TV drama “Dynasty.”
The video, which borrows the theme song and graphics from the show’s memorable opening credits, “stars” Udall, who a narrator introduces as “wealthy, comfortable and established…out of touch but eager to stay in power.”
The narrator goes on to tease “this week’s episode” as focusing on Udall’s “shocking betrayal of a bipartisan promise”, noting that he’s voted with President Obama 99 percent of the time.
“Democrats in Washington have touted ‘dynasty candidates’ for the past year, so we are embracing that message and making it bipartisan by highlighting Mark Udall’s own ‘Dynasty’ with this fun, retro ad of an 80’s classic,” the NRSC’s Brad Dayspring told FOX31 Denver.
“The broader point is that Mark Udall is part of the old guard whereas voters who are sick of Washington and looking to shake up the Senate are rallying behind Cory Gardner, a young, energetic leader from a new generation.”
It’s true that a number of vulnerable Democratic senators have looked to trade on their families’ names and long histories in politics.
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu appeared in a TV ad with her father, “Moon”, a former mayor of New Orleans.
Another TV ad from Alaskas Sen. Mark Begich, touted by many as one of the best spots of the 2014 cycle, defined the incumbent as “clearly his father’s son”, conjuring up memories of former Congressman Nick Begich, who lost his life in a plane crash just 22 months after being elected.
Michelle Nunn, a Democratic senate candidate in Georgia, has also sought to benefit from the legacy of her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn.
“It makes sense that they would embrace their family names which are associated with the kind of independence that Mark Begich and Mary Landrieu have demonstrated,” the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Justin Barasky told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
It’s that quote that Republicans are pointing to in claiming that Udall’s recent complaints about Gardner invoking his own father, who spent 30 years in Washington, and two cousins serving alongside him in the Senate, are hypocritical.
On Wednesday, the DSCC called Gardner’s new ad, in which the Republican calls Udall “a nice guy”, “disgusting.”
“It’s clear Congressman Cory Gardner’s campaign is struggling to overcome the damage done by his support for laws that could block a woman’s access to common forms of birth control, take away women’s personal health care decisions even in cases of rape or incest, and roll women’s health care rights back decades,” Barasky said.
“It’s disgusting that Congressman Gardner would stoop as low as attacking Senator Mark Udall’s late father and it is beneath a candidate running for the U.S. Senate. Congressman Gardner should apologize to Senator Udall and his family and pull the ad off the air.”