Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is being called out for a new political ad, which a local NBC affiliate station calls “very misleading” and “deceptive.”
The ad blames Udall’s opponent, Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, for hampering recovery from historic floods last year when he “stood with his party in Washington, voting to shut down the government.”
In a “Truth Test” segment on Denver’s 9News, the ad is blasted for outright lying about the shutdown’s impact on flood response.
“As far as the flood recovery goes, it’s very misleading to say the government shutdown hurt response to the disaster,” said reporter Brandon Rittiman. “No federal workers stopped responding to the floods. The Udall camp can point to all kinds of articles featuring people worried about what might happen if the shutdown kept going, but to argue that it had a measureable impact on flood recovery is deceptive.”
Moreover, as Rittiman noted, Udall and Gardner largely cooperated during flood recovery efforts, with Gardner being singled out by Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet for having noticed people on the ground waving for help as the delegation flew over the flood zone in a helicopter.
The ad was also pinged for saying that Gardner voted to shut down the government, when it was more nuanced than that. Democrats in the Senate refused to bring House spending bills to a vote, because the Republican-controlled House added language restricting the authority of the Affordable Care Act.
“It takes two to tango,” Rittiman said. “The Democrats didn’t want to mix the ACA into the spending debate.”
He also noted that Gardner was among just a few House Republicans who voted to end the government shutdown.
“It is fair to point out Gardner’s participation in the strategy that led to the shutdown,” Rittiman concludes. “This ad raises some fair points about the effects of the shutdown, but it crosses the line when it accuses Gardner of messing up flood recovery.”
The tone of the ad, he said, is in “stark contrast” to the bipartisan cooperation Udall and Gardner displayed during the actual flood recovery.
This is Udall’s second ad politicizing the flood response.