Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) took heat from his constituents for avoiding town hall meetings for nearly six years, and a new ad from Democratic challenger, Dean Phillips, looks to capitalize on that message. Phillips’ new ad flips the script — instead of hunting for Bigfoot, Bigfoot is hunting for Paulsen. The result? A lighthearted ad poking fun at his opponent that’s gaining ground on social media. “I thought I was good at hiding,” an actor portraying the mythical Bigfoot says. “Then Erik Paulsen comes along. I mean, how can you have tens of thousands of people looking for you all the time, and not one of them find you?” “I started to wonder,” the character asks, “Does Erik Paulsen really exist?”
Watch the ad below:
As @RepErikPaulsen hides from voters and misrepresents his record and the truth, here’s a little dose of humor based on fact: a Congressman who avoids voters at all costs, is the 6th biggest taker of PAC money in Congress and is bought and sold by special interests. #Truth #MN03 pic.twitter.com/3CLebkyV75
— Dean Phillips (@deanbphillips) September 18, 2018
The ad sees Bigfoot hunting for photos and proof of Paulsen, ultimately “finding him” at the office of a major pharmaceutical company. According to OpenSecrets, Paulsen is the second largest recipient of donations from the medical devices and supplies industry in Congress. He also comes in seventh for contributions from the pharmaceuticals and health products sector. “So take it from me, Bigfoot — Erik Paulsen really exists,” Bigfoot says. Paulsen has represented Minnesota’s 3rd district since 2009. But Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried Paulsen’s district by 9.4 points in 2016, making it a prime target for Democrats looking to take back the House of Representatives. The Minnesota Republican did acquiesce to increased calls for town hall meetings with constituents by holding three in May, but he still seems to struggle to shake the allegations of being an absentee representative. Paulsen found himself as the butt of a joke during a recent debate in the Congressional race, when members of the audience burst into audible laughter when he suggested he had been “accessible” to his constituents.