Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Republican Martha McSally asked voters in Arizona’s second district to consider the age-old question: Does this candidate hate puppies? Of course not, according to her campaign.
In a new ad released Tuesday called “Puppies,” the former Air Force colonel fired back against the “scare-tactics” her campaign says have been used in the ads of her opponent, Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Barber, and his political allies.
The argument has been used several times over the last few weeks in specific reference to one of Barber’s “political allies” in particular: Former Rep. Gabby Giffords’ PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
The outside group put out an ad last month that garnered sharp criticism from the McSally campaign and others for accusing the GOP candidate of supporting the “stalker gap” that allows individuals convicted of a misdemeanor for stalking to buy guns after a background check.
Giffords is not only Barber’s predecessor, but also his former boss. Turning focus back to her outrage over the Americans for Responsible Solutions ad “Stalker,” McSally’s new ad attempts to mock the outlandish claims being made by her opponent’s side.
In the ad, an “over-the-top” narrator, or “Ron Barber’s ad guy,” proclaims over “ominous music” that “McSally dislikes puppies.” “Watch it,” McSally says standing over him in a sound studio.
To be clear, Barber’s campaign has never actually accused McSally of hating puppies. The ad speaks to what her campaign believes are the outlandish nature the attacks against her have taken on.
There are other silly statements in the ad, like “McSally opposes apple pie.” The narrator also suggests she’s launched her own “War on Women.”
“Are you kidding me? This is why people are fed up with politics. The lies keep growing but the jobs don’t. I’m Martha McSally and I approve this message because it’s time for a change,” she fires back to the faux narrator.
Other issues referenced in the commercial include McSally’s position on student loans, social security and Medicare.
“The ad also corrects for the record once and for all: Martha McSally loves puppies,” according to a statement from her campaign.
In response to the ad, the Barber campaign noted: “This campaign is not about puppies, but about people.”
“The fact is, Martha McSally’s stated positions hurt the people of southern Arizona and she needs to take responsibility for her positions,” said Ashley Nash-Hahn, spokeswoman for Ron Barber for Congress. “She also needs to take responsibility for the fact that her own attack ads have been called ‘not true’ by non-partisan news outlets.”
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