Gabriel Gomez, the GOP Senate candidate in Massachusetts, is suddenly getting a fair amount of attention for calling opponent Ed Markey “pond scum” in an interview yesterday. That’s pretty pond-scummy in and of itself. But the other stuff Gomez said in the interview about the longtime Dem Congressman is also pretty pond-scummy, too: He unleashed a string of dishonest or misleading claims, all of which are worth noting, because they represent some of the core claims that help make up the foundation of his whole candidacy.
Take a look:
In the interview…
1) Gomez claimed that Markey has run an ad “basically blaming” him for the Newtown shooting, an assertion Gomez also made in his own campaign ad. This is false. The ad Markey ran actually points out that Gomez opposes a ban on high capacity magazines, “like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.” As the Boston Globe concluded, “Markey has not blamed Gomez for the Newtown shooting.”
2) Gomez also claims: “Congressman Markey can’t defend the fact that he has not authored a single piece of legislation in the last 20 years that’s been signed by the president.” WBUR recently fact-checked the claim and found that it “doesn’t hold up.” While the assertion is true in the most narrow, technical sense, it is still highly misleading, WBUR found, because it elides the fact that Markey pushed measures that landed in larger legislative packages and developed legislation whose companion bills in the Senate were signed by the president.
WBUR also noted that Markey is “widely acknowledged as an architect of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which opened up competition in the industry and spurred the creation of broadband networks central to the growth of the Internet,” and Congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told WBUR Markey is one of the most effective legislators in Congress.
3) Gomez complains that a Markey campaign video “put me up” next to Osama Bin Laden, and angrily says this is not something his children should be subjected to. This complaint has been a staple of the Gomez campaign. However, if you watch the Markey video, you will be hard pressed to find an actual comparison of Gomez to Bin Laden. Rather, Gomez’s face is juxtaposed with several images from a video that was produced by an anti-Obama group that Gomez played the role of media spokesman for in 2012. If that video shows an image of Bin Laden, that’s because it excoriates Obama for supposedly hogging credit for Bin Laden’s death. Given Gomez’s role with the group that produced the video, this hardly seems out of bounds.
Gomez’s claim that Markey is “pond scum” is part of his larger campaign message that Markey is “dirty” and “low.” That’s meant to suggest that Markey, who has been in Congress for decades, is just another dirty backroom politician, while Gomez is a clean, unsullied outsider. But much of the stuff coming from Gomez has its own aura of pond scum politics as usual.