Just two days after a Congressional Budget Office report launched the latest false attack against the Affordable Care Act — that the law will kill 2 million jobs — the spurious claim has already made its way into a 2014 campaign ad.
In a web video released Thursday, Thom Tillis — the Speaker of North Carolina’s House of Representatives, and a top contender for the Republican nomination to oppose incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) in November — became the first Republican candidate to utilize the CBO report in an attack ad.
“Kay Hagan votes with Barack Obama 96 percent of the time. What will it take to change her mind?” the ad’s narrator asks darkly. “How many families will have to lose good health coverage? How many workers will have to lose their jobs?”
As the narrator asks that second question, the ad shows a shuttered factory, with text on the screen reading “Congressional Budget Office estimates 2 million lost jobs due to Obamacare.”
In addition to the web ad, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out a press release on Thursday morning, citing a study from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that estimates that the Affordable Care Act will cost North Carolina the equivalent of over 74,000 jobs.
“So many of the promises Kay Hagan repeatedly made about Obamacare have turned out to be false, and as a result thousands fewer will be employed,” NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen says in the release.
Despite the Republicans’ spirited attacks, the “Obamacare the jobkiller” charge has already been thoroughly debunked. Among many others, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler awarded the claim used in Tillis’ ad Three Pinocchios, while CBO director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that the law will actually reduce unemployment.
It’s no surprise that Hagan has become the first victim of the misinformation campaign. Widely considered to be among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the nation, Hagan has become the primary target for Republican attacks by a wide margin in the early stages of the 2014 campaign. While the attacks against Hagan have not yet become as vicious as they were in her 2008 campaign — when Republican Elizabeth Dole infamously suggested that Hagan is an enemy of God — Tillis’ new ad suggests that the new charges will be no less misleading.