Media watch: GOP and Politico tag-team vulnerable Dems

The National Republican Congressional Committee told Politico on Tuesday it was targeting swing-district Democratic lawmakers, like Colorado’s freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey. The NRCC, which works to elect Republicans to the U.S. House, said it was going to wage an expensive attack campaign featuring TV and radio ads in districts around the country.

But it didn’t do that. Instead, it spent not a dollar in simply telling Politico it was going to do that and Politico wrote all about it.

NRCC nasty work done. And dirt cheap, too!

Politico’s Jonathan Martin and Alex Isenstadt, in their double-bylined story, reported that Republicans believed vulnerable Democrats like Markey had cast potentially “career-ending” votes Friday for the Clean Energy Act, and a major NRCC campaign would aim to “seal the fate” of these mostly newbie lawmakers.

Republicans believe a handful of junior House Democrats may have taken a career-ending vote by supporting the controversial energy bill last week and are planning to launch an ad campaign in targeted districts to try to seal their fate.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is planning to air TV and radio commercials and unleash robocalls against Democrats who hail from districts that could be adversely affected by the narrowly passed legislation, are GOP-leaning or both.

Those likely to find themselves with targets on their back after the 219-212 vote: freshman Reps. Harry Teague of New Mexico, Betsy Markey of Colorado, John Boccieri of Ohio, Thomas Perriello of Virginia and Alan Grayson of Florida and second-termer Zack Space of Ohio.

No surprise that the House Republican Conference daily email played the Politico story up high and included the entire lead, which they probably thought they couldn’t have written any better themselves!

What’s up Today….

Politico looks at the House Democrats who “may have taken a career-ending vote” by supporting cap-and-tax.

Republicans believe a handful of junior House Democrats may have taken a career-ending vote by supporting the controversial energy bill last week and are planning to launch an ad campaign in targeted districts to try to seal their fate .

Turns out that there is no expensive campaign. The “seal her fate” NRCC attack on Markey will include a Web ad and robocalls to residents in her district. Not exactly a game-changing strategy. Classic press release journalism? Seems more likely.

That and some flat-out Inside-the-Beltway cluelessness on the goings on in “fly-over country.” Take this bit on Markey, for example:

[R]unning against a weak incumbent, former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Markey rode President Barack Obama’s coattails to victory last year.

[…]

Markey didn’t respond to a request for comment about her vote.

In beating Musgrave, Markey ran way ahead of Obama’s numbers in the 4th Congressional District. If anything, it was the other way around, Obama riding the coattails. Markey trounced the unpopular Musgrave, 57 percent to 43 percent of the vote.

What’s more, in response to an attack by state GOP leader Dick Wadhams, Markey put out a press release early this week describing the reasons for her vote. Her defense wasn’t the least bit hedging.

The release is available here.

Hat tip to the Coloradoan’s Bob Moore.

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