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Georgia 6th: Handel attack ad slams ‘disgraceful’ Ossoff over ISIS

Hours before the first 6th District runoff debate, Republican Karen Handel released a new TV ad Tuesday criticizing Democrat Jon Ossoff for invoking his documentary work when pressed about the Islamic State.

The ad features Sgt. Grant McGarry, who the campaign describes as a U.S. Army veteran who fought the Islamic State in the Middle East. It centers on Ossoff’s remarks, in an ad last week, that he “sent a team to the front line against ISIS to expose their atrocities against women and girls.”

“Jon Ossoff said he sent a team to the front line against ISIS,” said McGarry in the Handel spot. “I fought for our country. Jon Ossoff hired a film crew. For him to say that’s being on the front lines is disgraceful.”

It’s the latest in a string of ads on the threat of ISIS, which took credit for the recent deadly terror attacks in London. House Republicans launched an ad last week warning that ISIS is “infiltrating America” and criticized Democrats for an Obama-era pledge to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S.

In his response ad, Ossoff dismissed talk that he was “soft on terror” and said he worked as a national security aide with the military to “strengthen our national defense.” In an interview last week, Ossoff called the accusations “fear-mongering.”

The ad invokes earlier scrutiny of Democrat Jon Ossoff’s record as a former congressional aide who had “top secret” security clearance. Republicans claim he inflated his experience as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and point to a Washington Post article that found his ads to be “misleading.”

Politifact Georgia found no evidence he exaggerated his resume, though it said he left out “relevant context” about his experience.

The two are locked in a nationally-watched battle for the 6th District, which stretches from east Cobb to north DeKalb and is widely seen as an early test for President Donald Trump and Democratic hopes of retaking the U.S. House.

Here’s the ad:

Here’s the script:

Sergeant McGarry: As an Army Ranger, I deployed five times to the Middle East fighting to keep Americans safe.

Jon Ossoff said he sent a team to the front line against ISIS

I fought for our country, Jon Ossoff hired a film crew.

For him to say that’s being on the front lines is disgraceful.

He exaggerated his security clearance too.

Jon Ossoff is not fit to serve in Congress.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.