A conservative group is airing an ad to bash Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and his support of the Iran nuclear deal, showing kids counting down from 10 in different languages to a mushroom cloud. The ad by Advancing Colorado then shows a huge explosion and billowing cloud. Over charred and smoking rubble it claims that Bennet is "jeopardizing our safety," offering a taste of how the GOP may seek to punish Senate Democrats politically over the Iran deal. Bennet is the most vulnerable Senate Democrat up for re-election next year, though Republicans don't yet have an opponent. But in 2018 a number of Democrats will be defending their seats and Republicans will likely try to make them pay for supporting the agreement.
The accord backed by the Obama administration and negotiated with Iran aims to curb Iran's nuclear program, but Republicans say it will only empower Iran. The incendiary ad is reminiscent of the famous "Daisy ad" that President Lyndon Johnson used against Republican opponent Barry Goldwater in 1964. Johnson's ad showed a little girl picking daisy petals, then a billowing mushroom cloud. Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of Advancing California, said the in-your-face approach was appropriate to tell voters about Bennet's role in a dangerous agreement. "The consequences of this deal are going to be even more shocking than this ad," said Lockwood. But a spokesman for Colorado Democrats called the ad a "smear" and said Bennet is working to improve the Iran. "It comes as no surprise that a secretly funded group with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers is out with a deeply offensive, fear-mongering attack against Sen. Bennet," said a senior Colorado Democrat.