House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy has been feeling the pressure from union and liberal groups in the immigration debate, and on Wednesday a conservative group is coming to his aid.
American Action Network is set to launch a $65,000 broadcast, cable and digital ad campaign to boost the California Republican, who's been the target of other both pro- and anti-immigration groups during the August recess.
According to a source with knowledge of the buy, the television portion is about 800 points in the Bakersfield broadcast media as well as a substantial Fox News buy.
Last week, over 1,000 union supporters traveled from Los Angeles to hold a rally and march outside McCarthy's Bakersfield office.
But other groups don't want the congressman to go too far the other way on immigration reform, either. The anti-immigration reform Californians for Population Stabilization launched an ad last week claiming McCarthy's positions would "legaliz[e] eleven million illegal aliens, adding millions more to welfare."
While liberal groups are pressuring McCarthy to push to bring up the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate earlier this year, in a statement this week, he reiterated that he backs a "step by step approach that first secures the border.”
In their ad first shared with NBC, AAN, which has backed immigration reform, looks to give him cover on that position, and says the Republican has "the conservative approach we need, that starts with securing the border first."
"Why are special interests attacking Kevin McCarthy? Because Kevin fights for us, not them," says the ad, which also praises McCarthy for tackling other GOP issues. "As Congress takes on the tough issues this fall, Kevin’s fighting to create jobs, and cut wasteful spending. He’s leading the fight to repeal Obamacare."
McCarthy is seen as pivotal to the immigration debate. A member of GOP leadership and a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, McCarthy is also represents a district that is 35% Hispanic.
“The House has the right approach moving forward with conservative immigration reform in a methodical way to fix our broken border and help our economy grow. CA-23 residents should ignore the misleading special interests and call Congressman McCarthy and urge him to continue fighting to secure the border," said AAN communications director Dan Conston, whose group has spent over $1 million so far on advertising, polling, studies and other grassroots efforts to push for immigration reform.
Watch AAN's full ad below: