Congresswoman Lucy McBath’s latest TV ad focuses on Republican opponent Karen Handel’s support of President Donald Trump.
The spot includes video of Trump praising Handel and of Handel boasting that she had “one of the strongest Trump support ratings” of any member of Congress during her tenure in 2017 and 2018. The political statistics website FiveThirtyEight says that Handel voted with Trump 98% of the time.
“Karen Handel enables Trump, not you,” McBath’s concludes.
But Handel’s team says the spot, which began running on broadcast and cable stations during the holiday weekend, misstates her record.
For example, it references a House vote on dismantling the Affordable Care Act that happened before Handel was sworn into office. But Handel publicly stated at the time she was in favor of repealing the health care law.
The ad also says Handel supported child separation at the border, although that was an issue where she was willing to part with Trump.
“I am deeply troubled by the emerging details of young children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border,” she said in 2018. “We must find a more humane, compassionate approach — one that keeps families together to the fullest extent possible — as U.S. immigration authorities determine appropriate next steps.”
Handel said the ad accurately represents one area she remains in sync with the president, and that is on opposing abortion.
Handel and McBath face a November rematch in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. McBath narrowly defeated Handel in 2018.
Handel also recently debuted an ad, one that accuses McBath of wanting to raise taxes and not having a plan to help businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic. McBath’s team countered by saying that Handel during her tenure in Congress focused cutting taxes for the ultra-rich while ignoring the middle class.
Tia Mitchell is the AJC’s Washington correspondent. In this role, she writes about Georgia’s congressional delegation, campaigns, elections and the impact that decisions made in D.C. have on residents of the Peach State.