Government

Kamala Harris launching first Iowa caucuses campaign TV ad

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) speaks during a town hall at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) speaks during a town hall at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

In her first television ad of her presidential campaign, California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris lays out her “3 a.m. agenda” addressing health care, families making ends meet and guaranteeing women equal pay — the problems she says keep Americans up at night.

Harris is the first top-tier 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful to go up on the air in Iowa with TV ads, which the campaign said will be seen in the Cedar Rapids media market.

In the ad, “Me, Maya and Mom,” Harris talks about how she and her sister were raised by a mother who would “work all day then pour her whole heart into Maya and me when she got home. And then, after we were fed and in bed, our mother would sit up trying to figure out how to make it all work.”

“That’s what my ‘3 a.m. agenda’ is all about — a real plan to help you solve those worries,” she says in the 60-second spot. “The biggest middle-class tax cut in a generation; another $500 in your pocket every month, paid for by repealing Donald Trump’s tax breaks for the top 1 percent and the richest corporations in America; health care for all with Medicare for All; and for companies that don’t pay women the same as men, new fines on their profits until they do.”

The ad highlights Harris’ focus on direct, tangible benefits immediately responsive to people’s needs rather than an “ideological or theoretical debates” about systematic or structural reforms that might trickle down to working Americans.

The ad, part of what the Harris campaign calls a “significant six-figure buy” in Iowa, comes as Harris kicks off a five-day bus tour from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River.

Harris is not the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls to run television ads. John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom Steyer and Seth Moulton have been on the air in Iowa, but Harris is the first of candidates considered to be in the top tier to go up with ads.

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In the Real Clear Politics poll average, Harris is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabath Warren 25.3 percent to 16.3 percent to 14.3 percent, respectively.

Harris’ sister, Maya, will be campaigning in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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