It’s not every day that a candidate tries to draw more attention to attack ads against him. But that’s exactly what Mark Critz is doing after a conservative group criticized him for opposing plans to privatize Social Security.
“Which of these Critz votes hurts Pennsylvania the most?” asks this attack website from FreedomWorks for America, a conservative super PAC affiliated with the Tea Party. “Opposed privatization of Social Security,” is one of the options.
The site also includes a video in which an announcer says, “Critz also stands with liberal interests in opposing Social Security reform.”
The site has been advertised online and, as a result, the video has over 8,700 views on YouTube.
The 12th district race between Critz and GOP challenger Keith Rothfus – who boasted about his endorsement from FreedomWorks in May – is one of the most competitive in the nation. It’s also one of the oldest, with enormous rates of enrollment in federal entitlement programs.
A centerpiece of the campaign is each candidate’s fealty to entitlement programs. Critz has voted repeatedly against efforts to repeal Obamacare, which reduces funding for Medicare by $716 billion. Rothfus has said he supports Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget, which makes identical $716 billion cuts and also makes Medicare more like a voucher system.
That’s why it’s odd to see FreedomWorks talking about Social Security privatization in PA-12 – it’s political kryptonite.
And Critz’s campaign jumped on it.
“The attack by FreedomWorks on Mark Critz makes it clear that Keith Rothfus wants to privatize Social Security,” Critz spokesman Mike Mikus said. “It is impossible to believe that FreedomWorks would attack Mark Critz for opposing privatization if Keith Rothfus didn’t agree with them, especially after they conducted ‘extensive personal interviews’ with the candidate.”
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from the Rothfus campaign.