Nevada special election ad fight turns to Medicare

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Mark Amodei, the Republican candidate in the Sept. 13 Nevada special election, accuses Kate Marshall of lying about his position on Medicare in order to cover up her own intention to cut the program.

“Why is Democrat Kate Marshall lying about Mark Amodei’s record on Medicare? Because Kate Marshall wants to cover up her support for a $500 billion Medicare cut,” says the ad’s announcer. “And Marshall supports the Obama plan to put bureaucrats in charge of your medical decisions.”

The controversial ad features Amodei’s mother saying she’ll hold him to his promise that “while Kate Marshall and her friends have already supported cuts to Medicare you should know I will work to support and improve the program.”

“You’d better, Mark. I’m counting on you,” says Amodei’s mother.

“Ok Mom, I’ll do my best,” he replies.

The new ad’s release follows a television spot by Kate Marshall that began running Friday, in which she attacks Amodei for his stance on Medicare. The ad shows Amodei saying, at the Republican debate in June: “Paul Ryan, I like a lot of what he has to say in terms of Medicare. I think that’s excellent.”

“Amodei thinks it’s excellent to give seniors a voucher, double their out of pocket costs and give tax breaks to millionaires,” says the announcer in Marshall’s ad.

The Amodei campaign disputes that ad’s claim, and says the new ad “reaffirms Amodei’s pledge to support and improve the Medicare program” and “informs voters that Democrat Kate Marshall supports the Obama/Reid Universal Health Care law — also known as “ObamaCare” — which cuts Medicare by $500 billion.”

“It’s time for voters in Nevada’s Second Congressional District to know the truth,” said Amodei Communications Director Peter DeMarco. “Kate Marshall needs to come clean and admit what she’s been trying to hide: she supports the ObamaCare law that was forced through Congress in one of the most blatantly partisan actions in history. Even worse, according the Congressional Budget Office that law will cut Medicare by $500 billion.”

According to the Associated Press, “In various press interviews, Amodei has applauded Ryan’s budget overhaul, but occasionally waffled on whether he supports the Medicare component. He told the AP last month that he didn’t know enough about how the Medicare plan would be implemented to opine on it.”

What he has said, the AP reports, is that “Medicare is broken and that he would consider increasing the eligibility age to 67 for younger generations not currently receiving benefits, a plan deplored by many Democrats.”

Marshall, for her part, “told The Associated Press she would never have supported Ryan’s budget and would not support changing the Medicare eligibility age.”

Marshall’s campaign stands by its earlier ad, saying it’s really Amodei who would support policies that hurt Nevadans who depend on Medicare.

“Mark Amodei is the only candidate in this race that has endorsed a plan to kill Medicare calling it ‘excellent,’ while Kate Marshall has been endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare,” said Marshall communications director James Hallinan. “It’s simple really, Kate Marshall stands with Nevada seniors to protect their Medicare and Mark Amodei stands with Paul Ryan and the national Republicans who want to take it away.”

The ad war in Nevada’s Second Congressional District has become increasingly negative, with both candidates attacking each other for their records and their positions. The factual nature of some of these ads has come into question, with one television station pulling an ad paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee off the air for making unsubstantiated statements about Marshall’s record.

Medicare was the flash point in the special election earlier this year in New York’s 26th District, when Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul pulled off a surprise upset in a heavily Republican district.

See Amodei’s ad here: