Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Primary Challenger Airs First Ad Against ‘Liberal’ Boehner Ally

Smith, above, is challenging Simpson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Bryan Smith went on the air with a new television ad calling his primary rival, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, a “liberal.”

Smith is challenging Simpson, an eight-term incumbent and top ally of Speaker John A. Boehner, for the 2nd District in one of the cycle’s top primary battles. Smith also boasts the backing of several conservative outside groups, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.

The spot features an edited clip of Simpson saying, “Let me tell you about earmarks. I’ve always been a supporter of earmarks.”

The Smith campaign has reserved $25,000 in the Twin Falls and Idaho Falls media markets for the spot. While that’s a small figure, Idaho is a cheap place to buy airtime for radio and television.

As a result, voters are likely to see much more advertising before the May 20 primary. Simpson went on the airwaves with his first spot in March.

The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Pragmatic Conservative

    It’s one thing for Tea Partiers to accuse some Republicans of not being fiscally responsible enough, but this ongoing whining about how anyone who is left of Jim DeMint or Ron Paul is a “liberal” is completely ridiculous. If you want to talk real policy differences, then fine, but at least be mature enough to come up with something better than “he’s a liberal.” The Tea Party is rapidly losing support because they have demonstrated themselves to be completely lacking in realistic political strategy or achievable policy goals. It’s time to come up with real answers, rather than just opposing everything and everyone around you. Many of us – who support balancing the budget, cutting federal spending, and reducing taxes – can not support those who say that our main objective should be to destroy those who vote with us 75% of the time, so that those who vote against us 100% of the time can have power.

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