Fact Check: Deceptive Attack Announcement on GOP Senate Candidate Pat McCrory Changes Quotes About Trump and Rioters
Contrary to the announcement’s suggestion, McCrory’s July 2020 comment urging Trump to “step off the scene” and “let Joe Biden take the number one position” was not Biden’s endorsement of Trump. . Instead, McCrory actually said Trump could help himself get re-elected, as McCrory said he wanted, by stepping out of the spotlight “every now and then” and letting Americans lend more money. Beware of what McCrory called Biden’s mediocre public performance.
Another part of the ad was also very misleading: McCrory did not approve of the riots that occurred during some of the racial justice protests in 2020 – he actually condemned those riots – and did not reprimand Trump supporters. McCrory’s “Who the hell do they think they are for?” The remark in the ad was specifically about rioters on Capitol Hill who assaulted police officers.
Additionally, the ad featured a quote from McCrory praising Mitt Romney, who is now a villain to many Trump supporters, while noting only in small print that McCrory delivered that quote in the 2012 election to the during which Romney was the Republican presidential candidate.
McCrory’s comments on Biden and Trump
McCrory gave second place to Biden, who he said “always liked the stage” but performed poorly in the spotlight. McCrory then said the first place was a tie between then New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Trump.
McCrory was definitely delivering some slight Trump ribs here. But the attack announcement made it sound like McCrory had seriously said he preferred Biden over Trump. This is not true.
McCrory’s Comments on the Violent Protests
But the attack announcement deceptively cut out McCrory’s quotes and framed them with deceptive images, to pass him off as an anti-Republican hypocrite who supported violence during the Black Lives Matter protests while widely condemning Trump supporters. He didn’t do any of those things.
The ad played McCrory’s voice by saying this: “People have legitimately protested for Black Lives Matter.” The ad then showed an image of a street fire, suggesting a riot. The narrator said: “But the supporters of Trump? The ad then showed an image of Trump supporters holding signs reading “PEACEFUL PROTESTANT.” Then the ad played McCrory’s voice saying, “Riots by Republicans. Who the hell do they think they are?”
The edits and visuals in this section of the ad were totally misleading – twisting McCrory’s comments beyond recognition. Here’s what McCrory actually said.
Finally, he condemned the violence of the “radical left”, the criminals of Charlotte and the violent participants in the demonstrations of Black Lives Matter. He then said that until the “disgusting” violence on Capitol Hill the day before, he had been proud to say that there had been “no Republicans riot”.
That “no riots by republicans” line appears to be the source of the “riots by republicans” audio clip in the ad.
Later in the episode, McCrory spoke out against the rioters on Capitol Hill who had illegally entered the House of Representatives. He continued, “And then to see the police defend themselves and have to spray people who assault them. It’s inexcusable. Who the hell do they think they are, carrying an American flag and then assaulting a police officer?”
In the narration of the ad and in its use of the “PEACEFUL PROTESTANT” signs, Club for Growth Action portrayed McCrory “Who the hell do they think they are?” Line as a blanket attack on Trump supporters who had done nothing wrong. He omitted McCrory’s words that would have made it clear that he was, in effect, delivering a specific condemnation of pro-Trump rioters who had attacked police officers.
And that’s not all. The ad also truncated and deceptively illustrated McCrory’s commentary on Black Lives Matter.
McCrory said he didn’t think some of the Jan. 6 rioters on Capitol Hill initially planned to be violent; he said they “crossed the line with me” even though they “followed the crowd”. Then he went on to criticize once again the violence during the racial justice protests.
“When you follow the crowd, you are part of the crowd. I saw that at the protests in Charlotte, where people rightly protested for Black Lives Matter. But then they didn’t stop the others, people smashing windows. They didn’t defend the police, “he said.” And the exact same thing happened yesterday in Washington DC. People who had the right to demonstrate did not protest against violence and lawlessness, the occupation of a sacred institutional building. It is inexcusable. “
Bottom Line: The visual for the street fire ad portrayed McCrory’s snippet of “People Legitimately Protested for Black Lives Matter” as an endorsement of the riots during the racial justice protests. The ad did not inform viewers that McCrory explicitly and repeatedly condemned such riots.
Mitt Romney’s 2012 Praise of McCrory
The ad contrasted McCrory’s criticism of Trump with a comment he made about Romney, whom McCrory called “a man of incredible courage.”
But the announcement was devious when McCrory made this comment on Romney – prompting viewers to locate a little piece of text at the bottom right of the screen to learn that the date of the quote was August 12, 2012.
Even in small, non-centered print, the quote date disclosure was more honest than most of the rest of the listing. However, the announcement could have been much more transparent on this point.