An ad from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott deceptively sliced and diced a quote on police funding from Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
An ad from Ohio Republican J.D. Vance baselessly insinuated that his Democratic opponent for the US Senate, Rep. Tim Ryan, supports defunding the police.
And an ad from Mark Ronchetti, the Republican candidate for governor of New Mexico, discussed a frightening break-in at his home before attacking his Democratic opponent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over crime — without mentioning that the incident occurred 10 years ago under a Republican governor.
Here is a breakdown of the three ads.
Texas: Greg Abbott ad slices and dices a Beto O’Rourke quote
This week, Abbott released another ad that uses some of the same sneaky editing.
But O’Rourke never uttered that sentence.
Facts First: The Abbott ad stitches together parts of two different sentences to make O’Rourke’s comment about defunding the police seem more categorical than it was.
“I really love that Black Lives Matters and other protesters have put this front and center, to defund, you know, these line items that have overmilitarized our police, and instead invest that money in the human capital of your community, make sure that you have the services, the help, the support, the health care necessary to be well and not require police intervention. And then also in some necessary cases, completely dismantling those police forces and rebuilding them.”
Abbott is entitled to criticize O’Rourke for what he actually said in 2020 about defunding particular police spending. But it’s dishonest to turn a sentence about defunding “line items that have overmilitarized the police” into a broad, unconditional sentence about defunding the police, period.
O’Rourke campaign spokesman Chris Evans said in an email this week: “As both a Congressman and an El Paso City Councilmember, Beto repeatedly voted to increase funding and resources for law enforcement. As governor, Beto will ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to address violent crime, bring justice to victims, and keep our communities safe. Beto will also invest more resources in mental health services, social workers, and addiction treatment.”
Ohio: J.D. Vance ad baselessly insinuates that Tim Ryan supports defunding the police
The ad’s use of the phrase “liberals like Tim Ryan” allowed Vance to avoid directly saying that Ryan himself has defunded the police or wants to defund the police. Still, Vance’s remark certainly creates the impression that Ryan is a supporter of defunding the police. That’s just not true.
Vance campaign spokesperson Luke Schroeder said in an email that “when Tim Ryan had the chance to condemn the defund the police movement in Congress, he refused.” That moment in Congress, though, does not corroborate the ad’s insinuation that Ryan supports defunding the police.
So: Ryan rejected a motion that sought to derail the passage of policing reform legislation by getting the House to condemn calls to defund the police. That’s clearly not the same as defunding the police or even expressing support for defunding the police.
New Mexico: Mark Ronchetti ad attacks Democratic governor while citing incident that happened under Republican governor
The ad featured Ronchetti and his wife, Krysty, telling a frightening story about Krysty and their daughters hiding in a closet, Krysty with a gun, because someone had broken into their home in what the ad calls a home invasion. Krysty said she was relieved to see the police arrive.
Ronchetti said: “Not every situation ends this way. Everybody seems to have a crime story. This is one of the biggest reasons I got into politics. Because we can’t keep doing this. Governor Lujan Grisham has made it easier to be a criminal than a cop.” He continued by criticizing Lujan Grisham over specific criminal justice policies.
Facts First: The Ronchetti ad left out critical context. The incident discussed by Ronchetti and his wife occurred in 2012 — during the tenure of Republican governor Susana Martinez, not the Lujan Grisham administration.
Ronchetti campaign spokesperson Ryan Sabel argued in an email that “there is nothing to fact-check here,” saying that Ronchetti was simply “sharing his family’s personal story with crime, which is a reality that most New Mexicans can unfortunately relate to,” and that Lujan Grisham “has been part of the problem for a long time.” Sabel claimed that the same month as the incident, when Lujan Grisham was serving on the county commission for the Albuquerque area, she voted against a request from the county sheriff to hire more deputies.
Regardless, what happened on the county commission is a sideshow here. The ad could have easily specified that the incident at the Ronchetti home occurred 10 years ago. At very least, the omission of the date, in an ad attacking Lujan Grisham’s policies as governor, invited viewers to come to the inaccurate conclusion that it was an incident that occurred during the Lujan Grisham governorship.