Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), a conservative non-profit organization, launched a six-figure ad buy on Wednesday. It released four new ads in key U.S. Senate races, targeting Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Florida. One of the Florida ads features a soldier who appeared in Black Hawk Down (2001).
“In 1993, my teammates and I deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia. I was a member of the team that was featured in Black Hawk Down,” recalls Matt Eversmann, a U.S. Army Ranger veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He appears in the ad “A Voice for Veterans.”
“The VA clearly needs to be fixed to take care of all the soldiers that are coming back from overseas. When that system fails, a veteran pays the price,” Eversmann says. “Marco Rubio is leading the charge to fix the VA. He is holding the VA accountable, sponsoring bills, introducing legislation. Senator Rubio is clearly a voice for veterans.”
Rubio currently leads the race against Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy. Rubio is six percentage points ahead of Murphy in the RealClearPolitics polling average, a slight increase from his lead throughout July and August.
CVA also released an ad targeting Murphy, titled “Abandoned.” That ad features Vietnam veteran Bob Martin, who served in that war from 1968 to 1970. Martin flatly declares that “Patrick Murphy has abandoned his responsibility to support veterans.”
The Vietnam vet explains that “the military is a family and we take care of each other.” He recalls becoming “distressed” by the VA scandal. “Veterans should not have to wait for care in a system that was designed to provide care,” he declares. Then he notes Murphy’s vote against the VA Accountability Act, H.R. 1994. “That’s wrong.”
Next Page: An Army vet praises Pat Toomey.
In the Pennsylvania ad, “Out Front,” Sgt. Jed Johnson, a U.S. Army veteran, recalls his friend’s struggle with medication after returning from Iraq. “Medication wasn’t working. They told him, ‘We’ll call you back when we have a bed.’ And a week later, we lost him,” Johnson says.
Pennsylvania Senator “Pat Toomey actually fought for us, when the VA was letting us down, when the VA was trying to sweep everything under the rug,” Johnson declares. “Thank you, Senator Pat Toomey.”
Katie McGinty, the Democratic candidate for Senate who served as an environmental adviser to Vice President Al Gore, is currently beating Toomey in a very close race. McGinty (43.2 percent) is only one percent ahead of Toomey (42.2 percent) in the RealClearPolitics average.
Air Force veteran Ken G. praises Republican Congressman Joe Heck in the Nevada ad “Service.”
“I served in the United States Air Force and the Nevada National Guard for twenty-six years,” the veteran recalls. But then he notes that “the VA is a system that is antiquated, and needs change. There is a lack of being held accountable and also holding people accountable.” He praises Heck, who “as a brigadier general, a doctor, and a congressman, is very well suited to fight for real solutions for our veterans.”
“Joe, thank you for your service to our veterans and our state,” the anonymous veteran concludes.
Heck leads in the U.S. Senate race against former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. According to the RealClearPolitics average, the Republican is four points ahead, 45 percent to 41 percent. CVA has praised Heck for voting for the VA Accountability Act, H.R. 1994, the same bill Florida Congressman Murphy opposed.
“Veterans deserve to know where their elected leaders stand on legislation that is essential to reforming and fixing the VA,” declared CVA Vice President of policy and communications Dan Caldwell. “For years, CVA has been unafraid to hold elected officials accountable for their records on VA reform, and we will continue to do so in 2016 and beyond.”