WASHINGTON — A conservative group aligned with House Republican leadership unveiled a six-figure ad buy Tuesday on Spanish-language TV giants Univision and Telemundo, to continue the task of assuring voters that GOP plans to "repeal and replace" Obamacare will go smoothly.
The ads, which will air during the evening news, popular telenovelas, and weekend live sports broadcasts, are an effort by the American Action Network — a political group affiliated with the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC — that aims to set the stage for support of Republican repeal efforts.
The new 30-second spot is a translation of English-language ads unveiled last week by the group, and part of a $1.4 million effort. Both ads promise more health care choices, better care and lower costs, as well as "peace of mind to people with pre-existing conditions," a signature feature of Obamacare that Republicans have indicated they want to keep. And the ads feature both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Six congressional districts with significant Latino populations will see the ads including those of Republican Reps. Jeff Denham (CA-10), David Valadao (CA-21), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Will Hurd (TX-23), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), where they will only air digitally.
“Too often, Obamacare supporters claimed this law helps Hispanics, yet the number of uninsured Hispanics has grown," said AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss. "Across the country, Hispanic families are facing higher premiums and fewer health care options, and they deserve to know that relief is on the way.”
The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare will not be without its difficulties, with president-elect Donald Trump saying in interviews that the two things can happen in quick succession and congressional Republicans indicating that it may take longer to replace the law. On Monday, Trump further muddied the waters by saying that his goal was to get "health care for everyone" — a promise Republicans don't want to make as they navigate the perilous political waters.
AAN also told BuzzFeed News they will spend more money to reach Hispanics, and argue that the expenditure is necessary because Spanish-language media will not be as friendly to Republicans as they were to the Obama administration over the last eight years.
While Univision and Telemundo were tough on Obama regarding immigration promises, Univision in particular finds itself at odds with the incoming Trump administration, for the way the network positioned itself as an antagonist to Trump during the campaign.
Chuck Rocha, a former consultant for Bernie Sanders and president of Solidarity Strategies, said Republicans are smart to reach out to Latinos, but questioned how the message will be received when you have to "start out by explaining how you're not going to take away their health care by repealing it."
"If you’re trying to make inroads with Latinos, this is not the way to do it," he said.