Kevin Cramer has finally released an ad this election cycle talking about accomplishments. It is something I have pushed his campaign to do for months. “Notice anything missing in those ads? Accomplishments….we’ve yet to hear what specifically he has accomplished in his six years in office.” I wrote back in July. It is now the second week in September and he finally talked about things accomplished in Washington. The catch, it is Heidi Heitkamp’s accomplishment he is attempting to take credit for.
Cramer’s latest ad declares he “led repeal of the oil export ban.” The thing is, not many people looked to him for leadership on this issue. When the oil export ban needed to cross the finish line, Senators and even Congressmen sought and received leadership from his opponent, Heidi Heitkamp. It was well documented nationally and locally.
Republican lawmakers in Congress praised Heitkamp for her work to lift the oil export ban. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican from Alaska, partnered with Heitkamp in the Senate. Heitkamp, in turn, pressed Democratic Senators on why this change made sense. She was successful at it. Leadership. Locally, the Williston Herald pointed out that she was instrumental in getting the ban lifted.
Perhaps the most damning for Cramer’s campaign argument was the fact the Chairman of the committee he served on praised Heitkamp. Republican Congressman Joe Barton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said without Heitkamp, “I don’t know that it would have happened. She represented her constituencies — the state of North Dakota, the heart of the Bakken — and took a lot of heat in her caucus. But she stood her ground.” Let me repeat, the person who worked with Cramer on a regular basis praised the Senator from the State of North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp, for getting the job done.
I typically try to avoid writing about political advertisements. Hell, I wrote a post titled, “When You Can’t Talk About Accomplishments, You Talk About Advertisements” following the obsession by right-wing media of talking about every single ad hitting the airwaves in North Dakota. But when a candidate’s campaign runs an advertisement claiming credit for something their opponent is acknowledged in a bipartisan fashion as having accomplished, it needs to be called out. The challenge to Cramer’s campaign stands. Tell us what he has accomplished since he was elected six years ago.