Memories of viral videos don't die easily, just ask Rep. Bob Etheridge, the target of a new third-party ad that revives a summer sidewalk scuffle between him and a "student" journalist.
Americans for Job Security, a shadowy third party group recently profiled by the New York Times, has released a spot in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District that features shots of Etheridge getting rough with an anonymous reporter, spliced with video of "constituents" answering Bob Etheridge's grilling of the questioner.
"Who are you?" Etheridge asks.
"We're Bobby Etheridge's constituents," one person says, as the video cuts over. "The people he's supposed to represent," says another. "But Etheridge ignored us...He voted for Nancy Pelosi's health care plan."
"Who are you?" Etheridge repeats.
"We're the people who will vote you out," a man responds.
Etheridge spokesman Mike Davis responded to the release of the ad, placing partial blame on the congressman's GOP challenger, Renee Ellmers, who has recently faced heavy fire for a recent "Ground Zero Mosque"-centered attack ad that used the words "Muslims" and "terrorists" interchangeably:
"Renee Ellmers said she would not exploit the incident for political gain, yet apparently she is perfectly content letting secretive Washington special interests do her attacking for her," Davis said in a statement. "Bob Etheridge is focused on improving the economy through job creation and small business tax relief, building new schools for our children, and bolstering our hardworking middle class."
Americans for Job Security, which stirred controversy in May when it aired a ad in Arkansas against Sen. Blanche Lincoln's progressive primary challenger Bill Halter, has been increasingly scrutinized with news that they are planning to spend $9 million in television ads throughout October.
An ad released by AJS against Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher (D) was pulled off the air last week because the claims made in the commercials were considered false and misleading.