A new TV ad campaign calls on 14 Republican House members across the country, including Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), to support the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
Defend American Democracy last Thursday launched TV ads nationwide showing veterans repeating their oath to protect the nation against enemies, foreign and domestic. The group would not disclose the precise cost, but said it would be in the seven figures.
“We kept our oath,” the veterans say. “Now members of Congress have to keep theirs. Stop putting politics ahead of our country. And hold the president accountable for abusing his office and risking national security for his own gain.”
The ads — nearly identical except for a text box with the name and phone number of the particular member — ask residents to tell their representative to “put country over politics.”
King and Zeldin oppose the impeachment inquiry majority House Democrats are conducting.
“I’m certainly never going to change my vote because of an ad,” King said in an interview. “Everything I’ve seen so far — unless something dramatic turns up — I’ll be voting against impeachment and people can run ads all day and all night against me.”
Zeldin spokeswoman Katie Vincentz questioned who was behind the ad campaign.
“As a veteran himself who continues to serve in the Army Reserve to this day, it’s a shame Democrats are resorting to dark money ads to lecture veterans about duty,” Vincentz said in an email.
Defend American Democracy is a coalition of eight activist groups, including Protect the Investigation and Republicans for the Rule of Law. Two of the groups say they oppose Trump and his policies, while others say their mission is to protect democracy.
Officials at Defend American Democracy said they chose veterans as representatives because they are credible witnesses who exemplify patriotism.
Jason Hurd, a spokesman for the campaign and a former U.S. Army medic, said the targeted House members "cannot let this man run roughshod over our democracy and destroy everything we fought, bled and died for."