NPR logo Freedom's Watch Skewers Dem With His Own Words


Freedom's Watch Skewers Dem With His Own Words

It was only last April that a New York Times headline said of Freedom's Watch, "Great Expectations for a Conservative Group Seem All but Dashed." But the group seems like it's on a roll these days.

True, it's not active in the presidential race as was originally expected. But it's advertising in several House and Senate races. This month alone, it spent about $600,000 this month bashing the Democratic Senate candidates in Oregon and Colorado. We've already looked at the new ad in Colorado. Now here's the latest by Freedom's Watch in Oregon.

The ad showcases a clip of Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley saying, "I advocate for tax hikes every night in living rooms across Oregon." This soundbite is so sweet, the ad runs it three times in 30 seconds. Merkley's opponent, Republican incumbent Gordon Smith had already used it in an attack ad of his own.

But when Smith's ad went up, a reporter for the Oregonian called it a "pretty clever case of selective editing," because Merkley was actually talking about closing tax loopholes on corporations and the wealthy.

Ah, details.