But the McCrory ad is misleading. It cuts out quotes in which Budd sharply criticized Putin.
A television ad from a conservative group, meanwhile, leaves out key context from an attack on McCrory’s immigration record. And a television ad from Budd’s campaign features Budd denouncing President Joe Biden over immigration and other subjects — but uses border footage from Donald Trump’s presidency to illustrate his point.
Here’s a look at all three ads.
McCrory begins the ad by saying, “Ukrainians bled and died.” The ad then cuts to Budd saying of Putin: “He’s a very intelligent actor.” McCrory then says, “Congressman Budd excused their killer.” The ad then cuts back to Budd saying of Putin, “There are strategic reasons why he would want to protect his southern and western flank. We understand that.”
Facts First: The McCrory ad misleadingly omits comments in which Budd sharply criticized Putin. While Budd did call Putin “a very intelligent actor,” Budd called Putin “evil” and “an international thug” in the same interview. And while Budd did say in another interview that “we understand” that there are “strategic reasons” why Putin would want to protect his flanks, Budd said in the sentences immediately following: “But still, I mean, this is evil. This is a sovereign nation in the Ukraine, and we stand with the Ukraine people.”
Here’s the full context of Budd’s comments about Putin.
“A very intelligent actor”
Budd added, “It was very predictable what he would do. But at the same time, Putin is evil. He’s been — he’s an international thug. But he is intelligent, so we have to treat him as such.”
The McCrory ad only quoted the “he’s a very intelligent actor” part of these comments. That line alone doesn’t come close to accurately capturing Budd’s overall message about Putin or the invasion of Ukraine.
“Putin is trying to reverse history and undo what happened in 1991. We should have known this all along. At his State of the Union in 2005, he essentially said that it was — he considered it (Ukraine) to be part of larger Russia. But he’s essentially trying to build the glory of Russia. There are strategic reasons why he would want to protect his southern and western flank, because of the flatlands of Russia. We understand that. But still, I mean, this is evil. This is a sovereign nation in the Ukraine, and we stand with the Ukraine people.”
Again, it’s misleading to frame Budd as a Putin-excuser by using a small part of an interview in which Budd also called Putin’s actions “evil” and expressed support for Ukraine.
Super PAC ad leaves out context about McCrory and driver’s licenses
CNN was unable to reach Conservative Outsider PAC for comment on Monday.
Budd ad uses video from Trump era to depict Biden border policies
As the ad shows this footage, the ad’s narrator says, “Open borders.” As the screen flashes to side-by-side footage of a shooting outside a convenience store and of a woman on a street speaking to someone in a vehicle, the narrator continues: “Crime. Drugs.” Then, as the screen shows a video clip of Biden, the narrator says, “The worst president ever.”
Facts First: The footage of the migrant jumping to the ground from a border barrier is from 2019, two years into Trump’s presidency, not from the Biden era.
US borders have never actually been “open” under Biden, though “open borders” is a standard piece of Republican rhetoric. In this article, we’ll focus on the Budd campaign’s use of the old video.
The Budd campaign stood by the use of the footage. In an email comment on Friday, which was laced with humor, Felts, the campaign senior adviser, said that footage from the border “disaster” of the Biden era could “terrify” families trying to relax in front of the TV after dinner, so the campaign used tamer 2019 footage “even though we knew some lame-stream-media types would quibble about it.”