House Republican candidate Carl DeMaio
on Monday released an ad in which he declares himself to be a “proud
DeMaio is vying to represent the people
of California's 52nd congressional district, which
includes parts of San Diego. The campaign of his Democratic
opponent, Representative Scott Peters, has attempted to label DeMaio
“He is trying to portray himself as a
moderate and he's not,” Peters said. “The problem with the
country right now – and in the Republican Party – is we're locked
up by the tea party. They're hyper-political, hyper-partisan and
hyper-idealogical and Carl would fit right in with that.”
DeMaio fights back against that
characterization in Proud American.
“As a proud gay American, I've been
called a lot of things in my life,” DeMaio says in the 30-second
ad. “But a tea party extremist? Nothing could be further from the
truth.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
DeMaio is possibly also pushing back
against a coalition of groups opposed to his campaign and that of
Massachusetts Republican Richard Tisei, who is gay and married.
Last month, the groups targeted both
campaigns as well as a third Republican candidate, Monica Wehby, who
is looking to unseat Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Wehby highlighted
her support for marriage equality in a television ad, making her the
first Republican Senate candidate to run such an ad.
Senate candidate Monica Wehby endorses gay marriage in new ad.)
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), FRC Action and CitizenLink called on GOP leaders to distance
themselves from the three candidates.
On Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner
will appear at a private fundraising event for DeMaio's campaign.
Boehner has also endorsed Tisei's run.
While open about his sexuality, DeMaio
has faced criticism in the past over placing a low priority on issues
related to gay rights.