Hours ahead of President Biden’s speech on combating inflation, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) launched new digital ads targeting House Democrats over the rise in consumer prices.
"This November, from the people who brought you the most expensive Fourth of July in history, the sequel is even worse," says the narrator in the ads from the House GOP’s reelection arm that were shared first with Fox News on Tuesday morning.
The narrator then charges that "Democrats' reckless spending has made everything cost more."
A new ad push by the National Republican Senatorial Committee takes aim at the president and his party over the rise in fuel and food prices.
"You like high gas prices?" the announcer in the spot says. "If so, introducing: Joe Biden and Democrats."
The Senate GOP reelection committee’s ads are running at gas station pumps in key general battleground states starting Tuesday as Americans hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The new spots by the NRSC and NRCC are the latest ads by the GOP committees and pro-Republican outside groups to take aim at potentially vulnerable House and Senate Democrats running for reelection in the 2022 midterm elections. Democrats are defending razor-thin majorities in both the House and Senate and the GOP sees inflation as a winning issue as it aims next year to win back majorities in both chambers.
"When you cut through all the noise and chatter, next year’s midterms will in all likelihood hinge on the state of the economy. Right now the warning signs are flashing red for President Biden and the party in change. When you control the government, you own the results," veteran Republican strategist Colin Reed noted.
Republicans have been arguing for months that the Democrats’ spending measures – from the COVID relief package passed early in the year to the bipartisan infrastructure measure Biden signed into law earlier this month and the party’s social spending and climate change combating package that passed the House a week ago – are fueling the spike in inflation.
"A key driver of these price increases and increased costs of living is crystal clear: massive increases in government spending by the Democrats," House Minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., charged early in the summer.
And NRSC chair Sen. Rick Scott of Florida argued as early as June that Americans "are scared to death over what’s happening to inflation" and claimed that "the Biden agenda and the Democrats’ agenda is not popular."
The NRCC was one of the first committees to go up with ads criticizing the White House and congressional Democrats over the issue.
"Burgers, buns, propane, gas. This year your Fourth of July is more expensive because Democrats’ harmful economic policies are making everyday goods cost more," the narrator in the NRCC spots that went up at the beginning of July charged.
Fast forward nearly five months and inflation’s grown in size as a major concern to Americans.
Nearly three-quarters of those questioned in a Fox News national poll conducted earlier this month said higher prices at the grocery store and the gas pumps are causing financial hardship.
The economy ranked as the top issue in the survey, and less than a quarter rated the economy positively, down 10 points from the beginning of Biden’s presidency. The poll also indicated that inflation (at 45%) was the most pressing economic issue.
"Voters are feeling real pain at the pump and the store. The good news for Biden is they want the government to do something about it. The bad news is they think he isn’t." Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News survey with Republican Daron Shaw, said.
The rise in prices is a major factor in the drop in the president’s approval ratings the past four months, and in the increased support for the GOP in next year’s midterms.
The president emphasized that his administration is prioritizing "getting prices down" and "making sure our stores are fully stocked," in a speech two weeks ago at the port of Baltimore in Maryland. Biden’s comments came hours after new government statistics indicated that consumer prices were surging at their highest level in three decades.
"Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more. And it's worrisome, even though wages are going up," Biden said.
The president has argued for months that his proposals will combat inflation.
"My ‘Build Back Better’ plan will be a force for achieving lower prices for Americans looking ahead," Biden emphasized in July. "If your primary concern right now is inflation, you should be even more enthusiastic about this plan."
While the White House and congressional Democrats for months have said the spending measures would help curb inflation, in recent weeks they’ve started to rebrand their sales job, saying that the bills will lower the costs to prescription drugs, child care and overall expenses facing families.
"Here's a contrast for you: While President Biden and Democrats are passing legislation to lower costs on everything from health care to child care and taking action to drive down gas prices, Republicans are playing politics. It takes a special level of callousness from Republicans to not only try to block policies to lower costs, but to also call higher costs a 'gold mine' for your party," Democratic National Committee rapid response director Ammar Moussa told Fox News.
Moussa argued that "it's pretty clear that only President Biden and Democrats are interested in governing and lowering costs for middle-class families, and that's what voters can count on hearing heading into 2022."