Faced with the possibility of losing a closely watched special election in Georgia, Republicans are going all out. A new ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, tries to tie Democrat Jon Ossoff to 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Ossoff, an investigative filmmaker, reportedly received $5,000 from Al Jazeera after the Qatari news network aired films he made. The 30-second spot says the network has been “described as a mouthpiece for terrorists," then cuts to a picture of bin Laden.
“Jon refuses to tell voters exactly how much money he’s received [from Al Jazeera],” the ad’s narrator said.
Ossoff is one of 18 candidates running in the “jungle primary” on April 18 to fill the Georgia's 6th District seat left vacant by now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. It's the first competitive race since President Trump took office, and Democrats see the district Trump won by only 1 percentage point as a chance to make it a referendum on his presidency.
Ossoff’s campaign has previously released a statement that defends the Georgia Democrat’s documentary work, noting that his company has produced films for clients and news outlets worldwide. The campaign also points out that his company’s investigations have exposed wrongdoings committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The CLF has poured more than $2 million into the race and has sought to paint Ossoff as the hand-picked candidate of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and accuse him of inflating his national security credentials. Ossoff’s campaign has since published a timeline of his work as a congressional aide, showing that he was a national security staffer for five years and had top-secret security clearance for five of those months.
But The Washington Post's Fact Checker called Ossoff’s description of his length of time with a top-secret clearance "misleading", and Politifact Georgia gave him only a “half true” rating on his national security experience.
With early polls showing Ossoff nearing the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff on June 20, other Republican groups are making a last-ditch effort in the race. The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched ad campaigns and is sending staffers to the suburban Atlanta district to work alongside staffers from the Republican National Committee.
During a Wednesday night debate featuring all 18 candidates, Ossoff addressed the ad and defended his work with Al Jazeera.
"I am proud of the work my team and I have done exposing crime and corruption all over the world, including atrocities committed by ISIS," Ossoff said. "I stand by my work as a businessman and a journalist."
"A political attack ad comparing me to Osama bin Laden is despicable."Read More...
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