Kemp ad calls Abrams too extreme for Georgia,

Republicans are out with a new attack ad, calling Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor, “too extreme for Georgia.”

The ad — paid for by the Georgia Republican Party and approved by GOP nominee Brian Kemp — debuted Monday in the Atlanta television market.

The plot

The spot opens with Abrams’ picture and a voice-over that says she “just isn’t a big-spending, tax-raising liberal, she’s an extremist.”

The ad makes claims:

— she is campaigning with and being endorsed by socialists;

— she wants government-run health care with massive new taxes;

— and she’s on the wrong side on the issue of tougher punishment for people who assault police officers and on restrictions for registered sex offenders.

The narrator ends the ad saying Abrams is “too extreme for Georgia.”

The context

The overarching ad claim isn’t new. Kemp’s been calling Abrams, the former minority leader in the Georgia House, an out-of-touch liberal, since the primary.

To back up its claim the socialist claim, the state GOP cites a piece that appeared in August on Big League Politics, a conservative website founded by former Breitbart News employees. The article states that, in 2011, Abrams headlined an event for the Democratic Socialists of America, which Big League describes as a militant left-wing group vowing to abolish all police. It also includes a video of political activist Linda Sarsour, whom the website describes as an anti-Semitic, embracing Abrams’ bid for governor.

The claim that Abrams wants government-run healthcare with massive taxes refers to her support for Medicaid expansion.

This is an issue being raised by Democrats in contested races in several of the 19 states that refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. A poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2017 showed a majority of Georgians support expanding the health care program for low-income and poor.

The ad doesn’t mention that millions of Georgians are already on two government-supported health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid.

The ad’s two other claims deal with votes Abrams made as a member of the Georgia House. One was against a measure that would have enhanced penalties against individuals convicted of assaulting police officers, and the other would have kept registered sex offenders from living or working within 1,000 feet of a childcare facility, church, school or other places where minors gather.

In 2008, GOP lawmakers pushed the sex-offender bill in response to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that struck down even broader restrictions. Some Democrats vehemently opposed the Republican bill, saying it could drive sex offenders into isolation without services. Ultimately, lawmakers dramatically scaled back the restrictions.

The Response

The Abrams’ camp says the GOP ad distorts the facts and Abrams’ record.

Regarding the ad claim about socialism, Abrams’ spokeswoman Priyanka Mantha said: “While the Kemp campaign is busy misrepresenting Stacey Abrams’ record, the truth is she has spent years working with both parties and was even criticized in the primary by her rival for working with Republicans in the legislature.”

She called the GOP claim on the sex offender restrictions bill “a blatant attempt to mislead Georgians.

“Here is the truth: Stacey Abrams is the only candidate in the race for governor with a proven track record of working across the aisle to foster justice for victims of trafficking and assault, Mantha said.

Watch the ad 

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