WASHINGTON – The Republican campaign committees overseeing contests for the Senate and the House announced Wednesday they won't be doing any political ads on Sept. 11, joining their Democratic counterparts who announced a similar decision earlier in the week.
"Sept. 11 is a sacred day,'' said Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "We will not be engaging in any political activity.''
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also plans no political advertising that day.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was considering going a step further, staying off the air for more than just one day.
"The committee has made a definite decision not to run 9/11 ads,'' said Jim Jordan, executive director. "We're giving serious consideration to bumping that back a few days. But it would be presumptuous of us to tell campaigns what to do.''
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also will not be advertising on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
"The DCCC has made the decision not to air any advertising on 9/11,'' said Jenny Backus, communications director. "We have told our candidates they should make the best decision for their campaigns."
Both parties' national committees also have said they have no plans to advertise that day.
Some individual campaigns were already making that decision, reflecting the sensitive politics around the date.
In Arkansas, Democratic Senate nominee Mark Pryor, who also is Arkansas' attorney general, asked Republican incumbent Sen. Tim Hutchinson in a letter to observe an advertising moratorium as a way to honor those who died and those serving the nation at home and abroad.
"A one-day moratorium will not affect the outcome of this election, but it will enhance the commemoration and remembrance of this important period in the history of our country,'' Pryor wrote.
Hutchinson spokesman Anthony Hulen said Wednesday: "We are not advertising on Sept. 11. We feel politics has no place on that day. We had decided awhile back, but didn't feel it was necessary to put out a press release.''
In Maine, GOP Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Chellie Pingree have agreed not to advertise Sept. 11. The Collins campaign said Tuesday that it will observe a moratorium the evening of the 10th through the morning of the 12th, said Megan Sowards, a campaign spokeswoman.
"The Chellie Pingree campaign has joined campaigns around the country in an ad moratorium around the tragic events of Sept. 11,'' said Deborah Barron, campaign spokeswoman. "We will not run commercials Sept. 10th through the 12th.''