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“This Is Low, Even By NRA Standards”: NRA Gets Everything Wrong In New Attack Ad

At least for now, Donald Trump’s campaign doesn’t really have the resources to air commercials in key 2016 battleground states, but the presumptive Republican nominee is getting some help from a controversial ally: the NRA Political Victory Fund, the National Rifle Association’s political arm, is investing $2 million in a new attack ad blaming the 2012 attack in Benghazi on Hillary Clinton.

The spot features Mark Geist, a Marine veteran who survived the terrorist attack, apparently walking through a national cemetery. It will air in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

So, what’s wrong with the ad? Just about everything. First, the New York Daily News reports on the problem of using a national cemetery as a prop in a campaign attack ad.

Federal government officials dismissed the ad, stating that the NRA never requested to film on the solemn, hallowed ground – and would have been rejected if it had.

“Partisan activities are prohibited on national cemetery grounds as they are not compatible with preserving the dignity and tranquility of the national cemeteries as national shrines,” the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration, which maintains 134 national cemeteries, told The News in a statement.

Second, while the ad suggests Clinton was responsible for the attack in Benghazi, the star of the commercial is actually on record saying largely the opposite.

Third, just this week, the House Republicans’ own Benghazi report found no evidence – despite two years of investigating – that blames Clinton for the terrorism.

And finally, note that the ad features hundreds of cemetery tombstones, when the actual U.S. death toll in Benghazi was four people.

I don’t expect much from NRA attack ads, but this is low, even for the notorious gun group.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, July 1, 2016

July 4, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, National Cemetaries, National Rifle Association | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Doing It Wrong”: Stop Attacking Donald Trump’s Politics; Attack His Character Instead

Some Republicans, at least, are starting to cotton up to the idea that if you don’t want someone to win, maybe you attack him. Marco Rubio has begun attacking Donald Trump on the stump. It’s a pretty timid jab, but a significant one for the very message-disciplined candidate who has tried to run a positive campaign.

The problem is that he’s been doing it wrong. Conservatives have insisted on attacking Trump on policy, and in one direction: charging him for not being right-wing enough.

In what may be the most frustrating news to come out of a very infuriating election cycle, Politico describes the reasons why the GOP’s mega-donors and heavy hitters are afraid of launching a wave of attack ads. Only 4 percent of the $238 million in advertising spent by big-money groups so far has targeted Trump. One reason is sheer cowardice (they’re afraid Trump might hit back). But another reason is that previous ads didn’t work.

But these ads are practically designed not to work, because they only reinforce Trump’s message. The ads either decry Trump for being politically incorrect, or describe him as not a traditional conservative. Both things are precisely his appeal, and both boil down to “He’s not one of the guys you hate.” The ads are saying: “All those reasons you like Trump? They’re really true!”

The reason why Trump shouldn’t be president, fundamentally, is not his position (or lack thereof) on this or that issue. Trump doesn’t care about the border wall or ObamaCare (whatever his position on it is this week). The reason Trump shouldn’t be president is because he’s probably a sociopath.

So this is what the attack ads should focus on. The ads should focus on what people like about him, and invert it. As Ross Douthat put it in a column last month:

So don’t tell people that he doesn’t know the difference between Kurds and the Quds Force. (They don’t either!) Tell people that he isn’t the incredible self-made genius that he plays on TV. Tell them about all the money he inherited from his daddy. Tell them about the bailouts that saved him from ruin. Tell them about all his cratered companies. Then find people who suffered from those fiascos — workers laid off following his bankruptcies, homeowners who bought through Trump Mortgage, people who ponied up for sham degrees from Trump University. (…) If you want to persuade his voters that his “New York values” are a problem for them, put his alleged dealings with the Mafia on the table. [The New York Times]

Would these ads work? Well, they just might work enough to puncture his aura of inevitability and maybe, just maybe, keep his ceiling low enough to allow a non-Trump candidate to break through. They sure as heck would work better than doing nothing.

If not now, we’ll find out how well they work once Trump has the nomination locked up and Hillary Clinton starts airing them.

 

By: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week, February 26, 2016

March 1, 2016 Posted by | Campaign Advertising, Conservatives, Donald Trump | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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