The National Republican Congressional Committee is running an ad praising Representative Bob Dold for having bucked Donald Trump, the party’s presidential nominee.
Individual Republican House candidates have cut ads distancing themselves from Trump, but this is the first time the NRCC, the committee charged with electing Republicans to the House, has explicitly used the message that not supporting the Republican presidential nominee is a good thing.
Dold, who represents the Democratic-leaning 10th District in Illinois, is one of the most endangered incumbents this cycle. President Barack Obama won this district with 58 percent of the vote in 2012.
“Dold is an independent voice who stood up to Donald Trump months ago,” the narrator in the ad says. The ad then shows a clip of Dold declaring, on CNN, “I think Donald Trump has disqualified himself.”
The ad has been on air since earlier this week. It does not appear on the NRCC’s website, and the NRCC declined to comment on it.
The messaging comes at a rather fraught time for Republican leadership, with a number of members of the House Freedom Caucus agitating to punish leadership — and particularly Speaker Paul Ryan — for backing away from supporting Trump.