Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (D-Ind.) this week released a campaign ad that closely mirrors a faux ad from the comedy television show “Veep.” 

Donnelly in his ad “Axe” chops wood as he touts his policy positions, making multiple wood-related puns along the way. 


The ad is a near-exact parody of campaign ad “Chopping” by fictional congressional candidate Jonah Ryan on “Veep.” 

Both real-life candidate Donnelly and fictional Ryan chop wood outside and make extensive use of forest-related wordplay. 

“I split with my own part to support funding for Trump’s border wall,” Donnelly, a moderate Democrat, says in the ad. “The liberal lefts wants to chop defense spending. No way!”

“I voted to extend the Bush tax cuts,” he continues. “And [Republican opponent] Mike Braun? He ships jobs to China. We’ve got to cut that out.” 

Ryan in the fictional ad jokes that the president thinks “she can chop our prosperity, our dignity and our stature around the world – but someone is chopping back.” 

Timothy Simons, the actor who played Ryan, reacted to Donnelly’s ad on Twitter, posting, “IM SENDING THIS MOTHERF—— A CEASE AND DESIST.” 

The campaign of Donnelly’s Republican opponent Mike Braun in a press release accused Donnelly’s ad of being “stolen straight from a parody ad in HBO’s Veep.” 

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Donnelly’s campaign did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee in a press release accused Donnelly of pretending to chop wood, citing Twitter users who said the Indiana senator in the video swings his ax at “precut wood.”   

Recent polls have found Donnelly leading Braun by only a few points. The nonpartisan Cook Political report rates the race a “toss-up.” 

Donnelly is one of ten vulnerable Democratic senators seeking to keep their seats in states that went to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2016. He has sought to present himself as a moderate Democrat that seeks to reach across the aisle.

Trump has endorsed Braun. 

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