North Dakota’s largest paper endorsed Kevin Cramer today, citing his accessibility and political views that align with North Dakota.
- His [Cramer’s] conservative views are in sync with North Dakota voters, who appreciate his candor, and we support him in his bid to move from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate.
- Cramer doesn’t flinch when advocating policies he favors, or in speaking against policies he opposes. He is not one of those politicians who keep a moistened finger in the wind. He’s always been one of North Dakota’s most accessible politicians.
- Heidi Heitkamp, who now holds the office, is a likable and able politician, but her views don’t align as well with those of North Dakota voters.
- We’re worried that, if elected to what appears to be her last term, she would vote with her fellow Democrats to block or unravel progress that has been made. Specifically, we cite her vote against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
- We’re also troubled that Heitkamp has said she didn’t approve the ad that named — in some cases erroneously — women as sexual abuse victims.
- We’re left wondering if she was more interested in making political points than advancing women’s rights.
- So far the only action we’ve seen from Heitkamp and her campaign is the firing of a staffer whose identity they’re not releasing to the public. Which means this unnamed staffer is being afforded more protection for his or her identity than the victims of Heitkamp’s ad were.
- Now that this firing has happened Heitkamp and her staff are back on the campaign trail with renewed attacks on her opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, as if they’re hoping the news cycle will turn over and this ugly episode will be behind them. That’s not owning this, senator.
- We must also know the name of the staffer who was let go, so we can understand what that person’s role was in the campaign and whether or not their dismissal was a genuine accountability move or a scapegoating.
- It’s hard to imagine this ad was organized and approved by just one member of Heitkamp’s staff. Did some intern or volunteer take a figurative bullet for a higher-profile member of the campaign? Again, we don’t know.
- Heitkamp also had to find a way to use the hour-long debate to recoup her losses from earlier this week, when news broke that her campaign had identified a number of constituents as victims of sexual assault without their consent. The names of these women were included as signatories of an open letter to Cramer, which the Heitkamp campaign ran as an advertisement.
- “The ad is about non-consent. Why would they just go ahead and take our names without our consent? It’s the same thing, just different case,” one of the women told National Review this week.
- Given how much negative coverage her campaign has received for the misstep, using her opening statement to apologize was the right tactical move — not to mention the right thing to do. But it undoubtedly was not how the flailing Democratic incumbent — running for reelection in a state that the sitting Republican president won by nearly 36 points — had hoped to start out the last debate of the election cycle against a popular, at-large congressman.
- The Heitkamp campaign is under fire again, this time for an advertisement apologizing to the women named in the previous ad. According to reports, the ad may have lacked the legally required disclaimer about having been paid for by a political-action committee. The newspaper that ran the ad says it received the payment from the Heitkamp campaign committee — which means the ad appears to be in violation of FEC guidelines. Heitkamp’s campaign has not responded to press inquiries on the subject.
North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins issued this statement the following another successful debate performance from Kelly Armstrong:
As Heidi Heitkamp deals with fierce backlash for outing victims of sexual assault without their consent in a political attack ad, she has promised her victims a personal apology and a retraction.
Is that what this is?
Buried at the bottom of a page in the Minot Daily News– with no indication of who paid for it- appeared this small note from Senator Heitkamp, which only quoted her campaign’s initial statement word for word:
REMINDER: Heitkamp’s first newspaper attack ad that outed these victims covered a full page ad and ran in every major newspaper across the state. Worse yet, Heitkamp still used this opportunity to criticize Kevin Cramer, proving once again that Heitkamp exploits whoever she can, whenever she can, for political gain.
And as for apologizing, Heidi Heitkamp and her campaign returned to politics as usual yesterday, continuing their smear campaign against her opponent. Meanwhile some victims outed by Heitkamp still had not heard from her.
As Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News last night, “Heidi Heitkamp needs to pick up the phone right now and call that young girl and apologize for getting her name in the national headlines.”
Liberal to the core, Heidi Heitkamp began her career as Jimmy Carter’s EPA attorney and has put special interests ahead of North Dakota’s energy industries ever since:
- During the Obama administration, Heitkamp took a series of liberal votes that were out-of-step with North Dakota’s energy industry:
- Heitkamp supported a harmful BLM environmental regulation limiting methane release on oil and gas operators.
- Heitkamp voted twice for higher taxes on the oil industry.
- Heitkamp supported Obama’s dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal, which opened world markets to Iranian oil, hurting North Dakota energy producers.
- During the Trump administration, Heitkamp voted against the tax cuts that opened up ANWR for drilling.
- Heitkamp also voted against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Justice Kavanaugh, whose previous rulings showed he aligned with North Dakota’s energy interests.
In opposing Justice Kavanaugh, Heidi Heitkamp made the cowardly decision to cave to Chuck Schumer and vote against North Dakota.
From the beginning, Heidi Heitkamp dutifully followed Chuck Schumer’s orders to “stay netural” as long as she could so Democrats could try to derail this nomination.
Heidi Heitkamp then opposed Justice Kavanaugh so national Democrats would help her try to save her failing campaign.
After Heitkamp opposed Justice Kavanaugh, she’s received pushback that is likely too much to overcome:
- The nation’s largest pro-life group blasted Heitkamp’s anti-life decision and announced they would mobilize in North Dakota against her.
- The NRA said Heitkamp “put partisan politics above the rights of law-abiding North Dakota gun owners” and endorsed Cramer.
- North Dakota voters overwhelmingly supported the Kavanaugh nomination and said it is their number one issue.
Heidi Heitkamp claims she’s fighting for farmers, but her actions prolong these trade disputes and hurt the agriculture community in the process.
Despite Heitkamp’s fearmongering, great progress has been made for securing better trade deals:
- USA Today: Canada agrees to join U.S. and Mexico in new trade deal to replace NAFTA
- NPR: Trump Announces Trade Deal With European Commission That Will Lower U.S.-Europe Tension
- BBC: US moves to negotiate trade deals with Japan, UK, EU
- Politico: How Trump’s trade war is driving China nuts
Unlike Heidi Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer sides with North Dakota on trade:
- Kevin Cramer penned an op-ed expressing not only his concern for North Dakota’s agricultural community, but also his support for the President’s overall efforts and his work to end this dispute. These are the views shared by North Dakota’s agriculture community. For example:
REMINDER: Heitkamp makes these attacks because a pillar of Heitkamp’s campaign strategy is fanning the flames of farmer’s fears.
While both Kevin Cramer and Heidi Heitkamp want to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, Heitkamp-backed Obamacare is wrong for North Dakota, and it hurts our small businesses and farmers.
Over the last ten years Heidi Heitkamp has taken more positions on Obamacare than anyone can count:
- As a liberal activist, Heitkamp aggressively pushed for Obamacare to pass, but as a 2012 Senate candidate, Heitkamp instantly became critical of the law.
- When Politico detailed this flip-flop, Heitkamp could not refute it.
- Throughout her time in the Senate, Heitkamp has staunchly defended Obamacare.
- Heitkamp voted 8 times against repealing Obamacare (March 2013 [three times], May 2015, July 2015, December 2015, and July 2017 [twice])
- Heitkamp voted twice in support of the individual mandate, voted against repealing Obamacare tax, and voted in favor of the medical device tax after she took donations from the medical supplies industry.
Heitkamp’s health care law is out-of-touch with what’s best for North Dakota, and it hurts our state.
After 6 years of dodging local media and “running scared” from reporters, Heidi Heitkamp will now have to answer for six years of opposing the will of North Dakota voters at tonight’s debate.
With her record on full display, Heitkamp has several questions she needs to answer, such as:
- Why did she say she would oppose late-term abortion, but then vote to support it?
- Why did she vote for higher taxes for North Dakotans?
- Why did she fail to crack down on sanctuary cities and dismiss the issue as a scare tactic?
- Why has she voted for higher premiums and fewer health care choices?
- Why did she vote to put energy jobs at risk?
- Why did she promise to be bipartisan, but then vote with President Obama nearly 90% of the time?
- Why does she play politics with the ag community, and continue to prolong trade disputes by undermining the President?
- Why did she oppose Justice Kavanaugh when her constituents supported him and the facts did not support her argument?
- After wrongly outing abuse survivors in an attempt to score political points, can North Dakota trust her judgement?
“No matter what desperate spin she offers today, Heidi Heitkamp can’t escape her out-of-touch, liberal record,” said North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins. “What’s most important is for Heitkamp to answer why she’s consistently opposed what’s best for her constituents.”