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Amid candidates' cooperation in Indiana, pro-Cruz PAC slams Kasich for Medicaid expansion

April 25, 2016

A new TV ad circulating in Indiana is here to remind us that Ted Cruz and John Kasich are definitely not BFFs, though they may have teamed up ahead of Indiana’s presidential primary contest in hopes of stopping Donald Trump.

A pro-Cruz super PAC called Trusted Leadership on Monday released new ads in Indiana called “Kasich BFF,” which bash the Ohio governor by implying that he and President Barack Obama are best buds.

The ad uses Fox News clips to point out that Kasich expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and says that Kasich “expanded Obamacare,” which it says is “wrong for Indiana.”

It appears that the "Kasich BFF" ad is an attempt to tamp down any existing Kasich support here and send those votes to Cruz.

Ironically, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence also expanded healthcare for low-income people using Medicaid money through the Affordable Care Act—though the program is different here in that it requires more personal responsibility and offers different coverage than Medicaid. That program is known as HIP 2.0.

Trusted Leadership PAC’s advertising plans mimic the terms of the deal agreed to by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns as they try to stop Trump from getting the necessary votes to earn the Republican nomination.

That deal Kasich suspend campaigning in Indiana, leaving it to Cruz, while Cruz said he will "clear the path" for Kasich in New Mexico and Oregon.

Trusted Leadership's director of research and media outreach, Kellyanne Conway, said in a statement that it will be “keeping the Kasich BFF ad on the air in the state [of Indiana] as we attempt to win every possible vote for Senator Cruz.”

It noted that it has “shelved” advertising plans in New Mexico and Oregon.

The PAC had already bought $73,200 worth of TV ads in Indiana. On Monday, it paid $61,400 more for another 117 spots on two channels—WTRV and WTTV.

"We compete for all voters, [including] those that are undecided or who are unaware that Gov. Kasich has pulled up stakes in the state,” a spokeswoman for Trusted Leadership told IBJ when asked about the ad.

Here's the ad:

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