Under the Dome

Aiken defends problematic TV ad

Clay Aiken, the Democratic candidate in the 2nd Congressional District, defended a new negative television ad Wednesday that a fact-checking organization found misleading.

Aiken’s campaign started airing an ad this week that takes on incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers. Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, headlined its analysis, “Aiken’s Attack Ad Is Off Key.”

Tim Boyum of Time Warner Cable News North Carolina asked Aiken about it during a Q&A that will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The fact check says “Aiken falsely claims Ellmers ‘voted against the payroll tax cut because she thought $1,000 out of your pocket is not that much money.’ ”

According to the factcheck: “She voted against a two-month extension because it wasn’t long enough, and helped craft a bipartisan bill that extended the payroll tax holiday for one year.”

Responding to Boyum’s questions about the ad, Aiken repeated the claim about the payroll tax that the fact check found to be false.

“I take issue with anyone telling me it’s off-key, because at the end of the day what’s off-key is implying that $1,000 is not a lot of money to people in your district, and that’s what Congresswoman Ellmers did,” Aiken said.

Factcheck.org called Aikens claim “a gross distortion of Ellmers’ position.”

Additionally, Aiken says in the ad that Ellmers failed to stop a Fort Bragg Airwing from being moved out of state, implying that the air wing has moved when it hasn’t.

He continued his criticism of Ellmers on the issue during the Q&A taping, saying she was too slow to act. (Ellmers submitted an amendment that would keep the wing from being deactivated.)

Ellmers, a Dunn Republican, is seeking a third term. She declined to participate in what was to be a debate, so Aiken sat next to an empty chair.

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