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KATZ: Donnelly's Latest Ad Looks Desperate

"Change his nickname. He's no longer 'Sleepin Joe.' In this election, he's 'Desperate Joe Donnelly.' And Hoosiers know it." - Tony Katz

Sen. Joe Donnelly's latest TV ad is a strange turn that may signal desperation from the Democrat incumbent. In the ad, Donnelly says he supports "the Wall" and ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as invoking President Ronald Reagan's famous line of "peace through strength." But the ad starts off with his disavowal of socialists and government-run healthcare, which Hoosiers know doesn't pass the smell test...or the honesty test.

As Free Beacon notes, Sen. Donnelly voted with Socialist Bernie Sanders 74% of the time. Yet, in his first debate with GOP challenger Mike Braun and Libertarian Lucy Brenton, Donnelly proudly touted his record of voting with President Trump. That number was 62% of the time.

What Hoosiers smell is the audacity of Donnelly, and his willingness to take positions he doesn't actually believe to try and trick voters. Sen. Donnelly, as a member of Congress, was the deciding vote on Obamacare. Obamacare would not exist if Donnelly had stood up for Hoosier families, and said "No" to socialized medicine.

In the debate, he said he was proud to be the "deciding vote that saved coverage" of pre-existing conditions. This ugly word play was called out on my shows: Donnelly was deflecting attention from his support of Obamacare. 

Braun, according to the campaign, covered pre-existing conditions in his company and said he favored insurance covering pre-existing conditions in the debate. In my exclusive interview with Vice-President Mike Pence, the Vice-President said that both he, and President Trump, "...we will sign, support no legislation that doesn't cover Americans with pre-existing conditions."

Losing that messaging battle, Donnelly now pivots to be tough on those who want "to turn healthcare over to the government." What? So he's going to be tough on himself?! He's the reason healthcare was handed over to the government in the first place!

This new "tough guy" position also puts him at odds with his Democrat party base. The ideas of Sanders, "Democratic Socialist" candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others have become the mainstream of Democrat policy. DNC Chairman Tom Perez said Ocasio-Cortez, "represents the future of our party."  Investors found that 57% of Democrats have a positive view of socialism.

Change his nickname. He's no longer "Sleepin Joe." In this election, he's "Desperate Joe Donnelly." And Hoosiers know it.

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