Jon Ossoff is facing questions about his ties to comedian Kathy Griffin in a new television ad being run by the Republican super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Congressional Leadership Fund put the new spot on television in Atlanta on Thursday, a day after Griffin posted an offensive photograph on Twitter of herself holding a model of the severed bloody head of President Trump. Ossoff, the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election to fill a vacant Georgia House seat, immediately demanded that his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, urge CLF to take down the ad.
"Jon Ossoff believes what Kathy Griffin did was despicable and for Karen Handel's super PAC to say otherwise is a disgrace. Karen Handel should immediately demand this ad be pulled before any more children have to see these disturbing images on TV," the Ossoff campaign said in a statement.
Corry Bliss, CLF's executive director, said that he would refuse. "The more Jon Ossoff complains about the [Griffin] ad, the more money we'll spend broadcasting it across Georgia 6," Bliss said in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
Griffin has since apologized for the tweet, which was roundly criticized Democrats, Republicans and media figures (Griffin lost her contract with CNN to co-host the network's New Year's Eve cablecast.
For Republicans, looking for every advantage in the Georgia 6 special, the ad is part of a strategy to try and turn the tables on the Democrats, who regularly pepper Handel with questions about the latest Trump controversy. The Griffin ad is part of an ongoing, $6.5 million advertising buy that CLF is running in advance of the June 20 special election. Here is the script of the ad:
Liberal extremists have gone too far.Smashing windows.
Now a celebrity Jon Ossoff-supporter is making jokes about beheading the President of the United States.
It's not funny.
These angry liberals will go to any extreme to elect Jon Ossoff.
There's a reason 95 percent of Ossoff's campaign donors are out-of-state liberals.
He is one of them.