It’s kitchen-sink time for both parties and in both Georgia runoffs. With just days to go before election day, it’s now open season for all of the mud left to be slung, even that which could be less substantial than it seems. This morning, for instance, the NRSC released its new ad, “Phony Raphael Warnock,” by framing it as a revelation about Warnock’s radical nature and record. The ad itself, however, has nothing to do with Warnock’s politics or record, but instead consists entirely of a police video from a domestic-disturbance call.
Just in case no one gets the point, the NRSC includes the hotline number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
New NRSC ad in #GASen@ReverendWarnock is a phony who's trying to hide who he really is from Georgians, when in reality, he is the most radical candidate and has the record to prove it. Georgia deserves better. #gapol pic.twitter.com/HDArhA8ira
— Senate Republicans (@NRSC) December 30, 2020
Yikes. This took place last year, and Warnock has denied ever since that he abused his wife. He did acknowledge the incident in a March interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but says that paramedics found no injury at the time. The police have taken a res ipsa loquitur approach to the incident:
According to the report, shortly after Warnock arrived at his wife’s home on Monday they began arguing about whether Raphael Warnock would allow his wife to apply for passports so that she could take their children to West Africa for her grandfather’s funeral.
Warnock told police that he had previously denied the request and that he didn’t have time to talk about it again, according to the report.
He told police that his wife refused to close the right rear passenger door of his car so that he could leave. He told authorities he began to “slowly” drive forward — and then heard his wife accuse him of driving over her foot.
The report said Ouleye Warnock was able to wiggle her toes and that Grady Hospital first-responders were “not able to locate any swelling, redness, or bruising or broken bones.”
The NRSC wants to get this out over the heads of media outlets in Georgia, which haven’t covered this story much at all since the primaries. This ad will certainly do that much, but given all of the early voting (and its apparent Democratic lean), it might be a little like preaching to the remaining choir, if you’ll pardon the metaphor.
Democrats are taking the same tack, although that has the same potential impact problem. Jon Ossoff took advantage of a live Peter Doocy question to accuse Kelly Loeffler of “campaigning with a Klansman,” which is also a questionable accusation at best:
If you’re unfamiliar with this charge, it arose a couple of weeks ago after two pictures of Loeffler and Chester Doles emerged. Doles, a former Klan leader and member of a neo-Nazi group, attended Loeffler’s events and stood in line for pictures with the candidate. Anyone familiar with this process would know that candidates rarely know who’s posing with them, let alone offer any approvals of them or their agendas. The Loeffler campaign addressed the issue by insisting that Loeffler didn’t know who Doles was, which is almost certainly the case — he’s hardly a household name or face, after all (and thank goodness for that). Ossoff probably couldn’t believe his good fortune when Doocy handed him that golden opportunity this morning.
It’s a cheap shot, but cheap shots are in season this week, as both sides will inevitably complain while delivering them.