The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is purchasing $800,000 of television advertising on Montana television to boost the Republican candidate in a May 25 special election for a vacant House seat as the GOP moves to defend another front in the battle for control of Congress.
Beginning Friday, the Congressional Leadership Fund is airing a 30-second spot on broadcast and cable television in the Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula media markets. The ad attacks Democrat Rob Quist, a musician who is running for Montana's statewide, at-large House seat against Republican Greg Gianforte, the GOP nominee for governor last year.
Montana's single House seat was vacated earlier this year by Republican Ryan Zinke. President Trump appointed him to serve as Interior secretary. The Montana contest comes on the heels of special elections in Kansas and Georgia, where Democrats this month have overperformed conservative-leaning districts that historically elect Republicans.
The Republican candidate came out on top in each contest, results that were bolstered by investments from CLF. But the results energized Democrats as they look to put a dent in the GOP's congressional majorities ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. So, even though Trump easily won Montana last year, Republicans are taking the race seriously.
That's especially true because the Democratic Party is competitive in the state, controlling one Senate seat and the governor's mansion.
In CLF's television spot, first shared with the Washington Examiner late Thursday, the group ties Quist to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and paints him as an extreme liberal. The ad script reads:
Rob Quist talks folksy.
But his record is more Nancy Pelosi than Montana.
Quist supports devastating military budget cuts.
But would spend your tax dollars on a government health plan even than Obamacare.
And Quist has a long pattern of failing to pay his bills…
He's even faced multiple for not paying his taxes.
Can you trust Quist and Pelosi — with money?