Politics

To Save Senate Seat, Mitch McConnell Releases Attack Ad Against Obama for IRS Scandal

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An increasingly unpopular Senator is attempting to scrape through another election campaign by rehashing the IRS scandal in a new attack video, suggesting the President Obama is the new Richard Nixon and deliberately tampering with campaign funds in order to handicap his opponent.

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky), who currently only has a 36 percent approval rating, released the heavily edited attack advertisement on Thursday, which focused mostly on the recent discovery that the IRS more heavily scrutinized tea party-affiliated groups seeking non-profit status.

The ad is set up so that the first two minutes or so is devoted slices of McConnell’s speeches warning that the tea party is facing some challenges with the IRS. Then, the ad narrows in on Lois Lerner, an IRS official who was in charge of the non-profit sector, who refused to testify before Congress and the phrase “Zero Accountability” flashes on the screen.

Then, clips of other IRS commissioners, Douglas Shulman and Steven Miller, who were working in the IRS before Obama became president, show them repeating “I don’t know” from conversations heavily taken out of context.

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“What aren’t they telling us?” the ad then asks. Then, taken out of a conversation in which Miller was attempting to emphasize his disapproval of the IRS targeting activity, the ad shows Miller getting asked, “Do you believe it is illegal,” with Miller answering, “I don’t believe it is.” In the actual conversation, Milller contends that the targeting wasn’t technically illegal, but inappropriate. Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George, who was investigating the matter and interviewed later in the same hearing, agreed with Miller.

The ad’s grand finale, then, is a clip from President Nixon’s interview with David Frost when he said, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Clearly, the ad was attempting to suggest that the administration that the President himself was involved in the IRS targeting, which is a familiar tune the Republicans attempted to hash out immediately after the IRS revelations. Yet, as per usual, no controversial tape recordings or any other type of proof could be found to back up the claims.

Sources: Talking Points Memo, Washington Post