Barack Obama loyalists blasted Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski (D.) Thursday after a super PAC supporting him used an image of the former president, even though Lipinski opposed major parts of Obama's agenda and did not endorse him for reelection in 2012.
The campaign mailer featured a photo of Obama during a State of the Union address, captioned with the text, "Known for Leading," Politico reported. The reverse side showed Lipinski's liberal primary opponent Marie Newman under the headline, "Known for Misleading."
"It’s time to reveal the truth, Congressman Lipinski," Jon Carson, Obama's 2008 national field organizer said. "You are no Barack Obama."
Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod was outraged at the mailer, calling it "very cynical," and mentioning that Lipinski voted against the Affordable Care Act in a tweet.
IE for embattled IL Rep. Lipinski, who refused to endorse @BarackObama for reelection, sends a late mailer to D primary voters with a heroic photo of Obama, encaptioned "Known for Leading."
Five years late!
And VERY #cynical! pic.twitter.com/dXKX11MhBm
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) March 14, 2018
"In fact, Lipinski was one of the few Democrats who voted against the Affordable Care Act, which makes the Obama mailer even more galling," Axelrod continued.
Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to Obama, retweeted Axelrod's criticism of Lipinski.
Lipinski, a rare pro-life Democrat, voted against the Affordable Care Act over concerns it could fund abortions. He is facing an aggressive campaign from the left to oust him from his seat.
Obama's team was so angry over the mailer, 10 former aides and volunteers stood in Axelrod's old offices for a Thursday press conference, in the same place Obama launched his 2008 presidential campaign.
They recounted the struggle to pass the Affordable Care Act and highlighted that Lipinksi was not interested in helping.
"I was stunned to watch Dan Lipinski vote to deny 20 million Americans the very coverage that he and I both enjoyed, while defying a president and members of Congress who put their careers on the line to pass this health care reform in this country," John Atkinson, a finance member from Organizing for Action said.
"We will not allow Dan Lipinski's hypocrisy to stand," he said. "Congressman Lipinski was never a supporter of President Obama when he needed him most."
Atkinson denied the move had anything to do with preserving Obama's legacy.
"This is about calling out hypocrisy, frankly. And letting the voters know what their representative’s actually doing in Congress and the fact that lying to them about his record and about his allegiances is not going to be tolerated," he said.
The Democratic primary for Lipinski's seat is on March 20.