WASHINGTON — The progressive VoteVets.org Thursday is launching a new ad campaign attacking Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans over the government shutdown.
The 30 second ad — which with a $100,000 initial ad buy will run on national cable outlets — features Redge Ranyard, a 91-year-old World War II Navy Veteran who chastises Republicans, and specifically Boehner, over their partisan rhetoric in the shutdown fight and accuses them of not working on behalf of average Americans and veterans.
Veterans have become a key chess piece in the political fight over the shutdown that both parties are hoping to exploit in their favor.
Republicans ranging from Rep. Steve King to Sen. Ted Cruz struck first, seizing on a confrontation between World War II veterans and park police last week at the World War II memorial as a photo opportunity back drop and to cast President Obama as uncaring about national heroes in an effort to push the blame for the shutdown off of themselves and onto Democrats.
VoteVets.org's ad is a significant escalation in the shutdown battle over veterans. While last week's dust up involved Honor Flights, a nonprofit organization that flies veterans into D.C., the ad features a war hero who served in the North African and European theaters directly taking aim at Republicans and blaming them for the shutdown.
"Republicans in Congress say their government shutdown is an 'epic battle.' I fought in six epic battles, fighting the Nazis. Congressmen, your shutdown is not an epic battle. It's bad governance," Raynard says over images of Boehner and his war memorabilia.
"Americans and American veterans like me depend on the entire government being open. I served this nation with honor. Today, I can't say the same about most Republicans in Congress," Raynard adds before the ad ends with instructions on calling Boehner's office.