Rick Berg’s Struggling Campaign Gets $3.1 Million Bailout From Washington
Berg’s Record of Voting to Cut His Own Taxes and Slash Medicare Leaves Him Unable to Win Over North Dakotans
MANDAN, N.D. – One day after being labeled as “not ready for prime time,” Washington political operatives have rushed to rescue Rep. Rick Berg’s struggling campaign that has endured weeks of bad press and missteps.
“Rep Rick Berg would rather hide behind attack ads than talk about his record of voting to cut taxes for millionaires when he is the 15th-richest member of the House,” said Tessa Gould, campaign manager for Heidi Heitkamp. “Rick Berg’s Washington friends just hit a very expensive panic button because they know he can’t win over North Dakotans with his history of voting the party line, even when it means massive cuts to Medicare and the Farm Bill.”
Politico reported last night that Berg would benefit from another $3.1 million in attack ads, noting that Berg faces “an unexpectedly difficult fight to pick up an open Senate seat.”
Berg’s Washington friends pushed the panic button after weeks of withering national press about his lackluster campaign:
NYT Names Berg in group “not ready for prime time” “…Representative Rick Berg of North Dakota, once thought to be a shoo-in for the Senate and now in a battle with Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat. Almost all will have two minutes each, far from the coveted prime-time slots.” (8/28/12)
Politico Names Berg in roundup of “bumbling candidates” “Republican strategists have voiced dismay for weeks over the Senate contest in North Dakota, where GOP Rep. Rick Berg was expected to dominate the race but instead finds himself tied or trailing Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, a sympathetic former state attorney general.” (Politico, 8/21/12)
U.S. News: Rick Berg Can’t Connect ”Heitkamp’s unlikely rise seems to spring from what University of North Dakota political science professor Mark Jendrysik described as Berg’s likability gap. “Certainly, talking to Republicans around here, there is some concern. Mr. Berg is not as likable as people once thought,” Jendrysik says.” (U.S. News, 8/17/12)
The Hill: Berg Pulls Ad After Getting Slammed in Editorial Republican Senate candidate Rick Berg has instructed at least three Fargo-area broadcast stations to stop airing a controversial ad and will begin running a new spot, focused on an Iraqi war veteran, on Friday….the Forum, one of North Dakota’s largest newspapers, issued an editorial on Wednesday slamming the ad as “unethical,” regardless of the new disclaimer, and calling for it to be pulled. That same day, at least three Fargo-area broadcast stations received instructions to air a new 30-second spot titled “Rusty,” starting on Friday. The new ad will feature an Iraqi war veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. (The Hill, 8/16/12)
About Heidi: Today, as a director of the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant, she’s a champion for North Dakota’s energy industry. Heidi believes we need to use all of North Dakota’s rich energy resources wisely, creating and keeping high-paying jobs right here. Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together to cut government spending, balance the budge, create jobs and get our economy back on track- while protecting North Dakotans.
Heidi lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two grown children, Ali and Nathan.
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