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PA8: Bognet Hopes to Dodge Cartwright Pre-Existing Playbook with New Ad

Matt Cartwright beat an opponent by 9 points in 2018, in a district that President Trump carried by 10 points the cycle before. He did it by characterizing his opponent as a carpetbagger who’d cut entitlements and end the Affordable Care Act’s coverage for preexisting conditions.

Jim Bognet was taking notes. The Republican candidate’s first ad of the general election seeks to preempt the same playbook against him. 

His positive new 30-second spot, titled “Dad,” starts off by explaining his return to northeast Pa. after a career that took him across the country, including as an appointee in the Trump administration. 

“But one day Mom called: ‘Dad had a heart attack.’ He almost died,” Bognet says to camera. “I came back home to help out.”

He pivots to his support for pre-existing coverage and popular senior programs. It’s a partial rebuttal to Cartwright’s opening television ad, which criticized Bognet for calling the ACA “a disaster”

“I know first hand how important it is to cover pre-existing conditions and protect medicare and social security, especially with COVID,” Bognet says. 

It’s a tightrope Republicans have tried to walk since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010: capitalize on the law’s mediocre approval without opposing its most popular provision. The balancing act failed last cycle, in PA8 and nationally.  

Cartwright’s camp is gearing up for a redux. They pointed to Bognet’s work for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as proof that his 2020 commercial is just lip service.

“Jim Bognet has spent his career trying to help politicians like Mitt Romney cut Social Security and Medicare benefits that hard-working Americans paid into, and he wants to eliminate the law that protects pre-existing conditions,” said Matt Slavoski, spokesperson for Cartwright. “People need these benefits and protections now more than ever, and Congressman Matt Cartwright has spent years protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and defending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

Three national ratings outlets have the race leaning in Cartwright’s favor. Inside Elections lists the race in PA8 as Likely Democratic; Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has it as Leans Democratic, and the Cook Political Report has it as Leans Democratic.

12 Responses

  1. Using his dad’s medical episode to soften the carpetbagger narrative. Wish dad Bognet the best, but shame you are being used as a prop.

  2. Is this the same Bognet, who in the primary election campaigned that he was a proud supporter of the Trump program??? Either he changed his mind or he is lying to the public. We don’t need another liar. He is the same guy who chastised Cartwright because his wife’s company took Covid money, when his construction company did the same thing.

    Can he be trusted to ever tell the truth??

  3. Cartwright is running R talk points in his ads—made in America/stop imports from China. Bognet doesn’t have a chance. He’ll be obliterated by 15+ points.
    In talking about his NEPA roots, did Jimbo’s ad discuss ditching the state for the last 20 yrs? Or that he used his mommy and daddy’s address to claim residency at first? Or that he hasn’t voted in PA (outside the primary) in decades?
    Trump hasn’t even endorsed the guy—he must know he’s a lost cause.

  4. It does not appear Biden has any coherent theme aside from saying “pre-existing conditions.” They could be covered with high deductibles or a restricted network. Healthcare is complex.It is all in the details.

    1. High deductibles for pre-existing conditions is a death sentence or bankruptcy for many. F you a-hole.

  5. It does not appear Bognet has any coherent theme aside from saying “pre-existing conditions.” They could be covered with high deductibles or a restricted network. Healthcare is complex.It is all in the details.

  6. Bognet is a Trump devotee and asskisser. Does he know Trump opposes coverage for pre-existing conditions? Or is he the typical lying POS GOP who lies like Trump?

  7. Typical Republican trying to muddy up his real intentions. Note that he never comes out and says how he would protect people on Social Security, Medicare or with pre-existing conditions, nor does he promise to do so, just that he thinks they are important.
    Cartwright is pledged to protect them and has a record of doing so. If Bognet thinks they are so important all he has to do is vote for Cartwright, and stop working for Trump and other GOPers who want to end those programs and protections.

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