“What kind of man is Parker Griffith?”

Democrat-turned Republican Rep. Parker Griffith wasn't always one of the GOP's favorite doctors

Topics: Parker Griffith, R-Ala., 2010 Elections, Healthcare Reform, Republican Party, War Room,

Republicans are turning to one of their newest colleagues to give a response on Saturday to President Obama’s weekly radio address. Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama — who switched parties late last year, but still has had trouble convincing tea party activists in his district to trust him — will take up the GOP cause on healthcare reform.

Griffith, a doctor, might seem like a natural to speak on the subject. But Republicans haven’t always been so impressed by his medical credentials. A Democratic source reminded Salon that a nasty 2008 attack ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee, during Griffith’s first campaign, went after his career as a physician. “What kind of man is Parker Griffith?” the ad asked. Apparently, the answer is that he’s the kind of man who doesn’t hold a grudge for long against the national GOP.

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Watch the ad here:

UPDATE: A spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Ryan Rudominer, sends along this shot at Griffith and the GOP: “If what Republicans said about Parker Griffith’s record as a doctor is any guide, their decision to select him as their health care messenger speaks volumes about what the Republican position on health care means for America.”

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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