2020 Dem Michael Bennet targeted in new ads by progressive group

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He’s been in the race for the 2020 presidential nomination for less than a week, but Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is already coming under attack – not from Republicans but from fellow Democrats.

Demand Justice, a progressive advocacy group that's aimed to block President Trump's nominations of conservative federal judges, announced Tuesday it will start running TV commercials and digital ads in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire that charge Bennet supports Trump’s judicial nominees nearly 70 percent of the time.

“Donald Trump is giving our courts a right-wing makeover, and Senator Michael Bennet is helping him do it,” the announcer in the spot said.

Bennet's campaign called the ad “ridiculous.”

Demand Justice noted that Bennet received an “F” grade in its first-ever report card, which was released last month.

“Donald Trump is rigging the courts, and Michael Bennet is helping him do it,” Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon spotlighted. “Senator Bennet should not get to hide from his record on this issue. He should have to explain why on earth he votes for Trump’s judges 67 percent of the time.”

Fallon, who served as national press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, told Fox News his group’s spending $10,000 to run the spot on digital platforms in New Hampshire and five figures to air the commercial on local TV.

Pushing back against the attack, Bennet's presidential campaign noted the senator voted against both of the president’s U.S. Supreme Court nominees – Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The campaign added that Bennet also opposed a majority of Trump’s judicial nominees who’ve come up for recorded votes in the Senate and also pointed out that many federal judicial nominees get confirmed on voice votes.


“It’s ridiculous that the first negative ad in this primary is attacking Michael Bennet — a senator who voted against both of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and opposed a majority of Trump judges that have come up for a recorded vote,” Bennet campaign spokeswoman Shannon Beckham told Fox News.

While Bennet voted in 2017 against Gorsuch’s confirmation, he didn’t support the earlier filibuster by Senate Democrats to try blocking the final vote from taking place.

“Bennet even praised Neil Gorsuch when Trump picked him for the Supreme Court seat stolen from President Obama,” the announcer in the spot says.


But, Bennet argued Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that what he called the “non-strategic” opposition to the Gorsuch nomination prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to change the chamber’s longstanding rules to lower the threshold for advancing Supreme Court nominations from 60 votes to 50 votes, which put the minority Democrats in an even tougher situation.

“Michael has said he is sick of losing to Mitch McConnell and the Republican party on judges, and it’s clear we need a new strategy,” Beckham added.