In the most watched contest of the season, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) went up on cable TV Saturday with an ad that calls out his Democratic opponent by name and fingers him as an agent of establishment interests.
“That’s early,” a Democratic insider marveled gleefully.
Watch the ad here.
Garrett routinely gobbles up and spits out his Democratic opponents in a Republican-leaning district. But his own missteps, including homophobic comments, and a volatile Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket, coupled with a financially well-connected challenger (Garrett had $2.7 million in the bank, compared to $2.5 million for Gottheimer at the end of June), have the Republican going negative right out of the gate.
“Why are Josh Gottheimer and his D.C. special interests attacking Scott Garrett with lies?” the ad asks over an unflattering picture of Gottheimer.
“My opponent takes the view that it’s better if we send more tax dollars to Washington and put the bureaucrats in control,” Garrett says in the ad. “I totally disagree.”
The Gottheimer campaign chastised the Republican congressman for trying to pin blame on “D.C. special interests,” noting that Garrett’s fellow Republican colleagues outed his anti-gay bigotry. One year ago, Politico, cited numerous Republicans in the room who corroborated that Garrett had refused to pay his Republican Party dues because he disagreed with the party over its recruitment of gay candidates.
“Tea Party charter member Scott Garrett keeps trying to blame everyone but himself for the repercussions of his bigoted comments,” Gottheimer said. “He forgets his Republican Congressional colleagues were so shocked by his comments about the community that they informed the media — and now Garrett is calling them liars, too. It’s well past time for him to own his ignorant comment and take responsibility for his extremism.”