Political Insider

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Taking fire: Abrams slammed with attack ads on guns, taxes 


Democrat Stacey Abrams was targeted with a pair of attack ads Tuesday criticizing her handling of her finances and her support for gun control measures, both themes that Republicans are eager to highlight ahead of her November matchup against Brian Kemp.

The Republican Governors Association’s 30-second ad opens with a Gold Dome lit up with sparkling holiday lights and a singer belting out a modified lyric of the “12 Days of Christmas” song: “On the twelfth day of Christmas I gladly gave to me ...”

Then it cited a series of stories detailing how she owed $54,000 in taxes to the IRS even as she loaned her campaign for governor $50,000. 

Abrams has said she deferred the tax payments in 2015 and 2016 to help pay her family’s expenses and that she’s on a payment plan to settle the debt. And she’s tried to bank on her financial problems to connect with voters who face the same struggles

Republicans have seized on the debt to try to frame her as a financial misfit who can’t handle the state’s $26 billion budget. The RGA ad, the second TV spot since Kemp locked up the GOP nomination, tries to reinforce that message.  

“Guess every day is Christmas for Stacey Abrams,” the narrator intones, before an image of Abrams embracing the gold Dome flashes on the screen. “Blind ambition. Poor judgement. Fiscally irresponsible.”

The other ad, from Georgia Gun Owners, is a minute-long online spot that assails her support for gun control measures. It repeats the phrase “ban, confiscate, destroy” four times as it highlights her proposal to restrict assault weapons. 

“Stacey Abrams isn’t just a leftist,” says the narrator. “Abrams is a Bloomberg-Soros hate America leftist.”

Abrams supports stricter gun laws, including universal background checks for private sales of firearms and a repeal of the “campus carry” legislation that allows permitholders to carry weapons on college campuses. 

She’s among several leading Georgia Democrats who are embracing firearms restrictions and openly warring with the gun lobby, a shift that upends the party’s decades-old political approach to the debate. 

“That multimillionaire Brian Kemp’s allies would launch an attack while he’s still going to court to settle his debts to farmers is rich,” said Abrams spokeswoman Priyanka Mantha.

“Kemp hasn't offered a single solution to help Georgia families access good-paying jobs, affordable healthcare, or quality education. It's clear that Stacey Abrams is the only candidate for governor who is rejecting distraction and division, and instead is focused on how to help every Georgian thrive."

Watch the RGA’s “Merry” ad:

 

Watch the GeorgiaGunOwners ad: 

 


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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.