As presidential candidate Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall, Democrat Deborah Ross’ Senate campaign is seeking to connect him to Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.
A new Ross TV ad released Friday features Trump’s comments about women from a leaked Access Hollywood tape as well as clips of Burr saying he supports Trump for president.
The ad notes that Burr’s campaign – and outside groups supporting him – have been criticizing Ross for raising concerns about a sex offender registry while she led the ACLU in the 1990s. The narrator says Burr is “exploiting victims of sexual assault.”
The ad doesn’t mention that Burr has denounced Trump’s comments on the Access Hollywood tape as “indefensible.” Burr has said he’s forgiven Trump and continues to support his candidacy.
As the ad launched Friday, a pro-Burr group released its own TV ad criticizing another aspect of Ross’ record at the ACLU. The Senate Leadership Fund is a super PAC connected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and it’s spending $8.1 million on ads in North Carolina’s Senate race.
The group’s new ad features a Vietnam War veteran, retired Col. Ron Cyrus, who says Ross has “failed us as veterans.” The ad’s narrator says that she “refused to help a veteran who was threatened with a lawsuit for flying the flag, but Ross does defend the right to burn the flag.”
So what’s the ad referring to? Under Ross, the ACLU declined to represent a homeowner who wanted to fly a flag in violation of a neighborhood covenant agreement he’d signed. On unrelated cases, Ross has said flag-burning is a type of symbolic speech and should be protected as a constitutional freedom and public expression.
“Flag burning is plain wrong, and I’ll stand up for free speech – even speech I don’t like,” Ross said in August.
Watch the ads below: