Senate Candidate Uses Doctored Footage to Show Senator Shooting at Him

December 6, 2019 Updated: December 6, 2019
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A man running for a U.S. Senate seat in Iowa spliced footage together in a campaign announcement video to make it appear as if the woman who holds the Senate seat was shooting at him.

Eddie Mauro is challenging Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa.). In a campaign ad released Dec. 5, Mauro said that he was running “because it’s time to stand up to the NRA [National Rifle Association], Joni Ernst, and the D.C. establishment.”

The ad shows Mauro walking in a field near a fence speaking about his campaign.

“One of the reasons I’m running? Because our current Senator, Joni Ernst, she thinks it’s okay to run ads for glorifying guns,” he says, as the video shows clips of Ernst shooting a gun, angled at the viewer.

The video then goes back to Mauro in the field and shows a bullet hitting a fence post just ahead of where he’s walking.

“She doesn’t seem to care that many of those guns will be pointed at our kids, our teachers, churchgoers, moviegoers, concertgoers, our police officers. Well I care,” Mauro said.

The video then showed Ernst firing again before going back to the field and making it seem as if a bullet fired from the gun hit an object in the field.

Mauro continues attacking Ernst in the video—a normal occurrence for a campaign ad, but without the clips of the incumbent shooting a gun. The spliced footage showing Ernst firing a gun and appearing to hit places in and around the field Mauro is in is played six more times in the 2-minute ad.

The Ernst campaign denounced the ad, writing in a statement: “It’s outrageous and offensive that @eddiejmauro would make light of gun violence in order to help his campaign. He should be ashamed and this disgusting ad should be taken down immediately.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Senior Adviser Matt Whitlock asked Mauro on Twitter: “How did you think portraying a United States Senator as shooting at you would be a good idea?”

“Why did she think portraying herself shooting at millions of Americans who depend upon the ACA for their health insurance was a good idea?” he responded, referring to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

After another person called Mauro a “scumbag,” the candidate said: “I’m not the one using violence to court votes. Joni was LITERALLY shooting at the health care of millions of Americans.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber