On the same day that the National Republican Congressional Committee put out another attack ad targeting long-ago criminal-defense work by David Cicilline, Brendan Doherty’s campaign offers an upbeat spot with the candidate and his wife.
First, the NRCC commercial:
Now, the Doherty campaign spot:
Bill Fischer, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, says the NRCC ads on Doherty’s behalf represent what he calls gutter-campaigning. Fischer calls the commercials the nastiest ones he’s seen in the last 20 years in Rhode Island. He says the spots cross a line from negative to personal, and he expects them to backfire on Doherty.
Doherty’s campaign manager, Ian Prior, defends the line of attack in the NRCC ads as legitimate:
”This was a path that David Cicilline opened up. He essentially called the former colonel of the Rhode Island state police out for what David Cicilline claims as being not strong on women’s rights when in fact Brendan Doherty was fighting for women’s right, was fighting for equality his whole career.
With David Cicilline, you can’t defend some of the worst criminals, and the worst abusers of women, and then change your tune when it’s politically expedient.”
Meanwhile, the Providence Journal’s PolitiFact finds today that Cicilline supported crime-fighting bills during his time as a state rep on Smith Hill — contrary to the message being offered in part by the NRCC.