Anti-Ben McAdams ad yanked after complaints it lied about his record
(Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, speaks against renewed nuclear testig during a news conference on July 6, 2020 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. Next to him are pictures of the "Sedan" test in Nevada exactly 58 years earlier.
A TV commercial from a Republican super PAC has been yanked off the air in the tight 4th Congressional District race after complaints from Rep. Ben McAdams' campaign that the ad was false.
The ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund
, a political action committee tied to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, aired an aid hitting McAdams for missing “more than half” the meetings of the Congressional Executive Commission on China. According to the McAdams campaign, the commission has held six meetings since its creation, and McAdams has been present for four of them.
The ad slams McAdams for not acting to protect religious freedom and human rights abuses by the communist regime in China due to his absence at the meetings.
“CLF’s sole evidence for its claim is that it was unable to see Rep. McAdams in certain video clips of the meetings,” lawyers for the campaign wrote to television stations in Utah, arguing the ad was “objectively false.”
McAdams was not in the video for one meeting as he joined via phone. In another meeting, he was standing out of sight of the cameras, which was confirmed by Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the commission.
“The ad wrongly paints McAdams on Communist China and includes falsehoods about Ben’s work on the bipartisan Congressional Executive Commission on China,” said McAdams' campaign manager Andrew Roberts in a news release, calling the ad part of an “untruthful smear campaign.”
The ad has been replaced with a previous version that is now running on local TV stations. The earlier version claims McAdams missed “half the meetings” of the commission, which is accurate since he attended two of the four “official” meetings of the commission.
The CLF will likely have more ads attacking McAdams and supporting Republican nominee Burgess Owens. The group has reserved nearly $1.8 million in ad time through the middle of October according to figures from Advertising Analytics
The race between McAdams and Republican nominee Burgess Owens is one of the most high-profile congressional races in the 2020 election cycle. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the contest as a “toss up.”