Beto O’Rourke may not currently be the favorite to win the Texas governorship, but incumbent Greg Abbott is undoubtedly taking his challenge seriously. Abbott now leads by 5% points in most polls, but that lead slowly evaporates the closer the state inches to the midterm elections.
To make the broadly appealing progressive less so to an increasingly purple voting population, Abbott’s team has released an attack ad against O’Rourke, using his own words against him.
There’s just one problem. In the best tradition of angry teens trying to get back at an ex, Abbott’s team cut and spliced O’Rourke’s words and slapped them together to make him sound much more extremist than he is – and the effort could backfire.
In one ad, O’Rourke is seen speaking in an online video. He explains, “I really love that Black Lives Matter and other protestors have put this front and center, to defund -” at that point in the ad, the image of O’Rourke speaking cuts away, and his voice is heard adding, “the police.”
But the problem is, O’Rourke didn’t say that. The original line was, “… to defund, you know, these line items that have overmilitarized our police… ” O’Rourke has gone on the record as saying he opposes defunding the police multiple times.
It’s a tactic Republicans are using in multiple races that resonates well with their most ardent supporters. Critics of the tactics call them dishonest and disingenuous, at best.