Ro Khanna’s first moves as a congressional front-
runner have been mixed, including his response to
contributor Peter Thiel’s support of Donald Trump.

Political campaigns typically shy away from handing over to their own supporters information that could undermine their efforts. So, it was a bit odd that Ro Khanna’s congressional campaign sent an email to supporters last Friday that offered up damaging information specifically used by Rep. Mike Honda to slam PayPal co-founder and Khanna contributor Peter Thiel.

Honda’s fundraising email last week suggested Khanna has ties to Trump and Republicans, in general. Oddly, a copy of the Honda email was included verbatim in Khanna’s email to supporters last week.

Thiel appearance as a speaker at the GOP National Convention last week became a lightning rod for Honda’s campaign against Khanna’s upstart challenge this fall. Khanna chose instead to focus on Thiel’s “coming out” during the convention in a bid to besmirch Honda, a noted LGBT activist and supporter.

But, Khanna may actually be committing an unforced error here. You could almost imagine Khanna supporters reading that email and immediately Googling the accusations against Thiel, all of which are factual. Thiel did make disparaging comments about the perceived downside of women’s suffrage and he has been an advocate for privatizing Social Security, a stance Honda has repeatedly attempted to attach to Khanna going back to their 2014 campaign.

Curious of all is the inclusion in the Khanna email of this assertion posed by Honda’s campaign: “Ro Khanna hasn’t denounced Donald Trump.” Honda, then adds, “And for someone who claims to be a progressive, that’s strange.”

And with that Khanna has inadvertently inserted Honda’s prime argument against him in his own campaign email. Big mistake.

KHANNA’S ‘NEW’ AD Politico’s Carla Marinucci reported this week that Ro Khanna began airing a new campaign ad this week. This would be the first on-air ad of their 2016 rematch. But just how new is this ad? Not very. It’s nearly a scene-for-scene copy of a web-only ad the Khanna campaign posted last April. That ad, titled, “Rest of Us,” is also a recycling of some footage seen during the 2014 campaign. The on-air ad, however, has an only slightly different message than the one from three months ago, but the sequence of edits is almost exactly the same. What’s missing in the latest ad? A favorable opening reference to Hillary Clinton and the omission of a cigar-smoking political insider depicting a corrupt Congress.

Khanna ad from April:

Current Khanna ad from this week: