At least for now, Donald Trump’s campaign doesn’t really have the resources to air commercials in key 2016 battleground states, but the presumptive Republican nominee is getting some help from a controversial ally: the NRA Political Victory Fund, the National Rifle Association’s political arm, is investing $2 million in a new attack ad blaming the 2012 attack in Benghazi on Hillary Clinton.
The spot features Mark Geist, a Marine veteran who survived the terrorist attack, apparently walking through a national cemetery. It will air in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
So, what’s wrong with the ad? Just about everything. First, the New York Daily News reports on the problem of using a national cemetery as a prop in a campaign attack ad.
Federal government officials dismissed the ad, stating that the NRA never requested to film on the solemn, hallowed ground – and would have been rejected if it had.“Partisan activities are prohibited on national cemetery grounds as they are not compatible with preserving the dignity and tranquility of the national cemeteries as national shrines,” the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration, which maintains 134 national cemeteries, told The News in a statement.
Second, while the ad suggests Clinton was responsible for the attack in Benghazi, the star of the commercial is actually on record saying largely the opposite.
Third, just this week, the House Republicans’ own Benghazi report found no evidence – despite two years of investigating – that blames Clinton for the terrorism.
And finally, note that the ad features hundreds of cemetery tombstones, when the actual U.S. death toll in Benghazi was four people.
I don’t expect much from NRA attack ads, but this is low, even for the notorious gun group.