Georgia Senate: Loeffler’s latest ads target ‘trash’ media
200302-ATLANTA-U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) is introduced by Gov. Brian Kemp after qualifying to run for the U.S. Senate Monday morning March 2, 2020 at the Georgia State Capitol. BenGray.com / Special
The three testimonials spotlighted in U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s latest round of TV ads feature Georgians with different backgrounds but a common concern: The news media has unfairly targeted the newly appointed Republican.
Mary, identified as a grandmother, calls the media "trash." Bo, a Vietnam veteran, says reporters don't "want you to know the truth." And Brian, a farmer, asserts that Loeffler is getting the same critical treatment as President Donald Trump.
“I can’t think of anyone than I would trust any moreso than Kelly and President Trump,” he says. “They know what we need to get back rolling again.”
Two other testimonials focus on entirely different topics: Loeffler’s pandemic response and her constituent services.
The anti-media ads are invoking the intense coverage of the disclosure that her advisers sold off large quantities of stocks in the weeks after she attended a Jan. 24 senators-only briefing on the coronavirus, which triggered a slow-burning controversy.
She has maintained that no secret information was shared and the stock sales were made without her knowledge by her investment advisers. She also recently announced she would stop trading stocks in individual companies and step down from a key Senate subcommittee.
The ads are financed by a recent $4 million ad buy aimed at steadying her November special election bid -- which pits her against 20 challengers on the same ballot.
Recent polls show the political newcomer's image has been dented, and several have her trailing U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, her most formidable GOP adversary.
In recent weeks, she's more aggressively attacked Collins, a four-term congressman with close ties to Trump, as a self-absorbed “career politician.”
She's also adopted two other strategies: She's tried to portray herself as an able pandemic-era administrator who can navigate the byzantine ways of Washington. And she's aggressively emphasized her vast fortune rather than downplay it.
Both those themes surfaced in two other testimonials in the new salvo of ads.
A nurse from Tifton thanks Loeffler for donating life-saving medical equipment to an Albany hospital system that's struggled with a surge of coronavirus cases.
And Zelda, identified as an Atlanta woman, said Loeffler helped ensure her father, who was a military veteran, got a proper burial ceremony.
“Kelly has a heart of gold,” Zelda says. “She’s a voice for the voiceless.”