The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan is spending millions to save a Republican House seat in danger of falling to the Democrats in an April special election.
Congressional Leadership Fund is making an initial investment of $2.2 million in Georgia's suburban Atlanta 6th district, held until recently by President Trump's health secretary, Tom Price.
Polling suggests that the consensus Democratic candidate, former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff, could top 50 percent in the April 18 jungle primary and win the seat outright.
To blunt Ossoff's momentum and counter his strong financial and field support from liberal activists and national Democrats, CLF on Friday launched a comprehensive campaign to keep the district Republican.
The super PAC was scheduled to go on television with a new ad, and inaugurate a field program staffed with 90 people aimed at knocking on 75,000 doors to motivate Republican turnout. The group's deputy field director Evan Albertson and data director Ryan Terrill have been deployed to the district to help oversee the effort on the ground.
"Jon Ossoff will say or do anything to get elected, but the truth is he will be a rubberstamp for [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi's extreme liberal agenda. In fact, Pelosi and her liberal friends are funding Ossoff – a standing he surely earned by promising to support her failed agenda of more spending, bigger government and a weaker military," Corry Bliss, CLF Executive Director, said in a statement first shared with the Washington Examiner.
Turnout in special elections is often unpredictable, and Republicans insiders are concerned that the failure of GOP legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, plus Trump's struggles in the district in the November presidential election, could diminish enthusiasm and create an opening for Democrats to steal the district. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by just 1 percentage point on Nov. 8, despite the seat's strong conservative bent.
Democrats are energized.
They're eager to hand Trump a defeat, and flipping a House district that has been in GOP hands for years would qualify. Ossoff has raised more than $4 million and has the advantage of running against a crowded field of Republicans.
On Friday, Politico reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee had reversed course and decided to invest resources in the campaign. Earlier this week, the NRCC appeared unconcerned about the race and it wasn't clear to what extent the committee was going to get involved.
Here's the script of CLF's television ad, written with the goal of motivating Republican turnout:
Liberal extremists will stop at nothing to push their radical agenda.
Now they are turning their attention to Georgia
And demanding that you vote for Jon Ossoff for Congress.
Jon Ossoff is one of them.
Ossoff will vote with Nancy Pelosi for more spending, bigger government, and a weaker military.
Don't let them hijack our congressional seat.
Stop Ossoff, now.