NRSC - Republicans Call On Manchin To Withdraw False Attack Ad in W.VA

Power Line – Whose the Hick?

Hot Air – Hix Nix Politix Trix

I wanted to make sure you saw the following story from ABC News today which confirms the NRSC’s assertion that no Republican had anything to do with the controversial “hicky” language first reported by Politico this week. In fact, this language was not even included in the actual “casting call.” Importantly, this renders false not only much of what was reported by some in the national media last week, including this headline from Politico – “GOP ad casting call: 'hicky' W.Va. look <> ” – but it also renders false an attack ad that is currently being run statewide by Joe Manchin in which the narrator says, “John Raese thinks we’re hicks.”

In reporting on this development, please consider the following statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):
“Now that the claims made by Joe Manchin and his friends in the Washington media have been proven false, Manchin should immediately apologize to John Raese, remove his false attack ad from the airwaves and start focusing on the important issues facing the voters of West Virginia. Democrats have desperately tried to get some political mileage off of this false story but the facts have caught up with them and now Joe Manchin needs to come clean.  The reality, though, is that Joe Manchin is desperate to avoid talking about the real issues in this race because he knows that his support for ObamaCare, the bailouts and the failed stimulus are out of step with the views and values of most West Virginians.  That’s why he has chosen to lie about John Raese’s record, lie about his own record and mislead the voters of West Virginia.  Enough is enough, Joe – it’s time to step up, stop the smears and start focusing on the real issues.” - Brian Walsh, NRSC Communications Director
Key graph from ABC News <> today:
·        Muziani also backed up the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s assertion that they had nothing to do with the criteria for finding actors for the spot. The language asking for a “hicky” look was only in the “booking sheet,” Muziani said, which was produced by an outside talent agency that was not directly hired by national Republicans. “You have to be careful with the terminology because there's a casting call and then there's what's known as a booking sheet,” he said. “A casting call is, ‘We're looking for a certain type or we're looking for this.’ And that casting call did not have the word ‘hick’ or ‘hicky’ in it. If I remember correctly, they were looking for people who represent an area of the country in, say, Pittsburgh, Ohio, West Virginia area. But it was very vague.”  “The word 'hick' or 'hicky' showed up on what's known as a booking sheet, which is only put out after the actor is cast. So these three good buddies you see in the commercial already had the job, were already on board with their roles before getting this word 'hicky' on their  booking sheet.” (ABC News, ‘Hick’ Ad Actor: ‘Don’t Tase Me, Bro’ <> , 10/11/2010)

And even left-leaning Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent comes to the Republicans defense today writing <> :

·        [I]t simply was not fair for media outlets or commentators to tar national Republicans or the NRSC with the use of the "hicky" language. News accounts that described an "NRSC casting call" and the like badly distorted what actually happened, and it's plainly absurd that this highly inaccurate reading of the story dominated our political dialog for an entire day. (Washington Post’s The Plum Line, "Hicky" actor backs up GOP version of events <> , 10/11/2010)  

Finally, on the hypocrisy alert front - since Manchin and his national Democrat friends have attacked the use of actors in campaign ads, I would draw your attention to the latest ad by the Democrat National Committee – click here to watch <>  – and take note of the :20 second mark.  Unless the DNC is claiming that they caught an actual robbery on tape and used it in a campaign ad, it would seem a safe bet to report that the Democrats used actors in this ad.