GOP Congressman Asks for Sympathy from Drug-Addicted Inmate Because He Faces '$5 Million Worth of Negative Ads'

GOP Congressman Asks for Sympathy from Drug-Addicted Inmate Because He Faces '$5 Million Worth of Negative Ads'

On Wednesday, Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) paid a visit to the Chesterfield County Jail to speak with inmates in the drug addiction support group. And unbelievably, in the process, he somehow managed to insert into the conversation that he could relate to them because running his campaign was pretty much just as tough as their life situation.

While speaking with one drug-addicted inmate who was worried about her career and life prospects when she was released, Brat remarked, "You think you’re having a hard time I got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me. How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody."

Ben Pavior, a reporter for Richmond's local NPR station, captured audio of the discussion:

Soon after, Brat seemed to realize the insensitivity of what he said and acknowledged that yes, inmates suffering from substance abuse disorders do indeed face bigger life challenges than a two-term U.S. representative.

Brat, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, has recently made a point of complaining about the attack ads run by his Democratic opponent, former CIA operative Abigail Spanberger. Earlier this week, his campaign put out a press release noting that one of Spanberger's ads, blasting Brat for voting to eliminate protection for pre-existing conditions, had been rated Four Pinocchios by the Washington Post Fact Checker. In short order, Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler fired off an angry tweet pointing out that they had done no such thing.

And the negativity is by no means one-sided. The Paul Ryan-affiliated super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), recently ran attacks on Spanberger for her brief time teaching at "Terror High," an Islamic school in Northern Virginia which has had a few graduates who went on to commit terrorist acts. In the course of digging up this dirt, CLF improperly obtained Spanberger's security clearance files from the Post Office.

Virginia's 7th District is in the center of the state, and includes the western suburbs of Richmond. The Cook Political Report rates the race as one of the most competitive in the region.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.