BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A political ad paid for by the Republican Governor’s Association has drawn fire from the Jealous campaign because of statements shown in the ad.
“Go ahead, call me a socialist,” Jealous is heard saying in a clip edited from an MSNBC interview.
In the interview, he goes on to say, “It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a venture capitalist,” He finishes.
An attorney representing the Jealous campaign issued a letter to Baltimore television stations including WJZ on Thursday. It asked for them to pull the plug on the ad known as “too extreme”.
The letter claims the ad is blatantly false and misleading.
“The TV stations we believe have a responsibility both legally and ethically to stop this kind of false advertising,” James Temple Jr., an attorney for Jealous’ campaign, said.
WJZ sat down with Temple to explain why the specific advertisement was any worse than most negative ads that run during an election season.
“It may be in many instances a difficult line,” Temple said. “This is not. We know what was said.”
This move by the campaign comes on the heels of Jealous using profanity at an event in Baltimore County on Wednesday when he was asked to clarify his position on the subject of the ad.
A reporter asked, “Do you identify with the term socialist?”
Jealous replied, “Are you f—ing kidding me?”
Dr. Mileah Kromer, political analyst, told WJZ the type of editing seen in the RGA ad is a standard practice and it is expected to continue.
“Once it’s in the public domain it can wind up in a political ad,” Kromer said.
Kromer said it is not uncommon for outside groups such as RGA to fund more negative ads than those directly sponsored or paid for by the candidates themselves.
“This is really an attempt for them to define Ben Jealous before he can define himself,” Kromer said.
In a statement to WJZ, an RGA spokesman, Jon Thompson said:
“The RGA stands by our TV ad. The request from Ben Jealous fails to point to a single sentence, clause, phrase or word in the advertisement that is false. Furthermore, Ben Jealous’ words are his own words. If he regrets saying them – by inviting others to call him a socialist or by issuing profane comments to a news reporter – and wants to take them back, that is an issue for himself and his campaign to resolve, not a matter for TV stations.”