Editor’s Note: This article was updated with comment from Lance’s campaign at 1:08 p.m. It was updated again for clarity at 4:57 p.m.
Former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski is out on the airwaves with yet another ad, this time with the backing of late U.S. Sen. John McCain.
“This is a contribution Tom made most of all in the fight here in congress to end torture, and I am forever grateful to him for that,” McCain is heard saying in the ad.
He made that statement during Malinowski’s confirmation hearings in 2013.
The ad appears to be an attempt to counter an emerging strategy from Republican PACs backing Rep. Leonard lance.
In recent weeks, the Congressional Leadership Fund has aired ads targeting Malinowski using his record at Human Rights Watch to claim he supported terrorists’ rights.
“Lance and his allies would have voters believe that the years Tom spent working with both parties to fight for American values, defend our national security, and protect American prisoners of war was an act of treason,” said Malinowski Campaign Manager Colston Reid. “Tom’s appointment to the State Dept. was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Republicans and Democrats recognized Tom as a national security leader trusted to represent our nation at the highest levels. That’s the kind of leadership he will bring to Congress.”
The ad is Malinowski’s fourth this cycle.
While Lance’s campaign didn’t seem to take much issue with the content of McCain’s words, they appeared to be somewhat displeased with Malinowski invoking him at all.
“Tom Malinowski is no John McCain. Sen. McCain was a principled conservative who believed in lower taxes, less spending, fewer regulations and more freedom and less government in our lives. Sen. McCain opposed Obamacare, opposed Dodd-Frank, opposed sanctuary cites and fought against President Obama’s overregulation and executive overreach. McCain supported Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. McCain opposed the dangerous Iran nuclear agreement that he said made America ‘less safe’ and was an unwavering supporter of Israel. And Sen. McCain was a tireless advocate for increased defense spending and our troops in the field,” Lance campaign manager Jim Hilk said. “Tom Malinowski is on the wrong side of Sen. McCain on each and every one of these issues.”