FIRST ON FOX — With the national average price of regular unleaded gasoline topping $5 per gallon, the House Republican re-election committee is taking aim at a dozen House Democrats it considers "vulnerable" with new ads spotlighting the relentless rise in prices at the pump.
"Joe Biden promised it wouldn’t be like this," says the narrator in the digital spots by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which were shared first with FOX Business on Wednesday.
The ads spotlight past video clips of President Biden saying "it will come down… we’ll see it come down," before the narrator charges that "he lied."
The narrator then argues that the House Democrats targeted in the spots "repeatedly voted against expanding American energy production. Reducing supply. Driving up prices." The spots end with the narrator urging viewers to tell the House members being targeted that "we can’t afford this."
The NRCC tells Fox News its spending a modest five-figures to run the ads online. The spots take aim at Reps. Josh Harder (CA-09), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Katie Porter (CA-47), and Mike Levin (CA-49) of California, Rep. Cindy Axneof Iowa (IA-03), Rep. Frank Mrvan of Indiana (IN-01), Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) of New Jersey, Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (OH-09), Reps. Susan Wild (PA-07) and Matt Cartwright (PA-08) of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas (TX-28).
While the Republicans lost control of the White House and the Senate majority in the 2020 elections, they defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats' House majority. The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in November’s midterm elections to retake the majority.
When the NRCC ran ads last July 4th blaming Democrats for the high cost of the holiday — from fuel to food prices — it became the first party committee or outside group to go up with spots on the growing issue of inflation. The new ads are the second this year by the NRCC to specifically concentrate on gas prices, following an earlier round of spots in March.
Two-thirds of those questioned in a Fox News national poll conducted six weeks ago said they thought inflation would continue to be a major issue for at least another year. And 44% said soaring gas prices were a "serious" hardship, up from 35% in March. In a separate question, two-thirds gave President Biden a thumbs down on how he was handling inflation.
While the NRCC continues to blame Democrats for surging gas prices, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the NRCC’s counterpart) keeps pointing fingers back at House Republicans.
"The Democratic Party is the only party in Washington fighting to solve problems and bring meaningful change to people’s lives. Democrats’ priority is lowering costs for working families, while Republicans’ priority is to win power by playing politics and siding with wealthy corporations," DCCC spokesperson Chris Taylor charged last month.