Aug 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: House Republicans hit inflation, not Afghanistan

Screengrab of an NRCC ad on inflation

Ad screengrab. Courtesy: NRCC

The House Republicans' campaign arm is launching attack ads against 15 Democrats that focus entirely on inflation instead of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan threatening to undercut Joe Biden’s presidency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The decision to focus on a domestic issue rather than the foreign policy crisis engulfing the administration highlights the GOP's bedrock belief that kitchen table issues will resonate best with voters in next year's midterms.

  • It also shows the party — at least for now — still believes inflation is its most potent weapon.
  • The ad buy creates a roadmap to the 15 hottest districts — all held by moderate Democrats — that Republicans think they can flip to win back the House majority.

Details: The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) will launch the five-figure ad campaign on Wednesday.

  • It will tie rising consumer prices to back-to-school shopping, highlighting how school supplies are more expensive than ever.
  • Price hikes have become a regular talking point of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who hopes ascend to speaker in Jan. 2023.
  • The campaign is the third set of ads from the NRCC focused on inflation.

What they're saying: Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the NRCC, said: “Democrats’ reckless economic policies have caused a massive spike in prices, and parents across the country are feeling the sting as they send their kids back to school."

The ads will target the following Democrats:

  • Rep. Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.-01)
  • Rep. Josh Harder (Calif.-10)
  • Rep. Jahana Hayes (Conn.-05)
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.-07)
  • Rep. Cindy Axne (Iowa-03)
  • Rep. Sharice Davids (Kansas-03)
  • Rep. Jared Golden (Maine-02)
  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin (Mich.-08)
  • Rep. Haley Stevens (Mich.-11)
  • Rep. Angie Craig (Minn.-02)
  • Rep. Chris Pappas (N.H.-01)
  • Rep. Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07)
  • Rep. Sean Maloney (N.Y.-18)
  • Rep. Matt Cartwright (Penn.-08)
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (Texas-15)

Go deeper: Watch a sample of the ads.

Go deeper