It’s hard to imagine how — or why — Republicans would make themselves look even less appealing to voters in an election year that’s already seen many traditionally GOP-held districts flip to Democrats in the leading edge of what most are now terming a “Blue Wave” for the midterms in November.
But it seems like that’s what Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, is intent on doing with his new campaign ad.
It hasn’t been a good year for issues that are usually friendly to conservatives: The tax bill has been a total flop, women’s rights are front and center in the thick of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and first and foremost, guns are on everyone’s mind — and not in a good way.
After the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the memories of the 17 victims propelled the survivors — students Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, and many more who have been instrumental — to begin a movement for gun control that has proven to be unprecedented in both its scope and reach. A vast majority of Americans now favor more gun control than ever before, beginning with universal background checks, but certainly not limited to simple organizational reforms like that.
GOP candidates who are beholden to the NRA — not to mention the gun sales organization themselves — are rightly concerned with the loss of their election “angle,” usually a reliable plank in the Republican platform. Some have backed down from their aggressively pro-gun tactics, if not their actual stances, in the wake of the shootings of some many children.
Others, like Brian Kemp, have bizarrely elected to double down. And Kemp’s political ad, which television stations cannot refuse to air due to FCC political regulations, has others in his party terrified that they’ll be lumped in with his terrifying rhetoric.
In the ad, Kemp is sitting down with a teenage boy, a shotgun “broken open” on his lap as though he’s about to load it, as he grills the young man on his campaign platform. “Jake,” the boy in the ad, correctly answers Kemp’s numbered queries: Cap government spending, take a chainsaw to regulations, make Georgia number one for small business… and then is forced to list Kemp’s rules for dating his teenage daughter — respect, and “a healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment.”
It is at this point that Kemp snaps the shotgun back into position and points it at the teen, saying “We’re gonna get along just fine.”
Even in a deep southern state like Georgia, viewers have been horrified, with many writing into the station they’ve seen the ad on, 11 Alive, to express their dismay.
You can see the ad here:
Featured image via screen capture