The National Republican Congressional Committee, House Republicans’ campaign arm, launched a new campaign on Thursday it calls “Cicilline’s Secrets” that plays up Democratic Congressman David Cicilline’s career as a defense attorney and his votes on various controversial bills.
NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay accused Cicilline of “choosing violent criminals and child molesters over victims” and said the campaign is aiming to reach 200,000 to 300,000 Rhode Islanders using automated phone calls, online ads, emails and a website. The NRCC blasted text messages on Thursday that linked to the new site and said: “David Cicilline tried to keep child molesters out of jail.”
Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers argued the Republicans were trying to distract voters from Doherty’s positions, saying they “have had to dig back 20 years to his time as a private attorney to attack him because they know people in Rhode Island do not support their policies and want a representative who will continue to stand up for the middle class.” Hyers also noted that the NRCC’s allegation about Megan’s Law was rated “Mostly False” by Politifact in 2010.
Separately, the Cicilline campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began airing a new television advertisement criticizing Doherty for supporting the repeal of President Obama’s health care law. The ad aired Thursday morning during the “Today” show. Doherty has said recently he wouldn’t vote to repeal the law unless some of its provisions were preserved, including one that lets children stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
This post has been updated and expanded.