The Corner


Jennifer Wexton’s Deceitful Ad

Every once in a while in covering politics, you come across a political attack so brazenly dishonest that you almost have to salute at the audacity of it. Jennifer Wexton, a Democratic state senator in Virginia running against Republican representative Barbara Comstock, has an ad in heavy rotation that deserves some sort of prize for going above and beyond the call of duty in trying to fool voters.

The ad tries to tie Comstock to President Trump on health care. Potentially its most damaging hit portrays Comstock as an opponent of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Here’s how the ad handles the issue: It says that Trump is against such protections, says that Comstock usually votes with Trump, and concludes that she’s therefore against the protections too. Never mind that Comstock voted against the House version of the Republican health-care bill last year, saying among other things that it contained inadequate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

It’s well within bounds to attack Comstock for voting “with Trump” too often — although the statistic used to make that case is fairly meaningless — and even to label her “Barbara Trumpstock.” (Nothing says you hate Trump like using a juvenile nickname, I guess.) But you’d think, if you wanted to nail Comstock for agreeing with Trump and being out of step with her district, you’d pick an issue on which she, you know, agreed with Trump and was out of step with her district. Instead the ad pretends that she takes the opposite position from the one she does, in order to further its narrative. (“Barbara Trumpstock agrees,” the ad claims, after laying out Trump’s positions.)

Wexton is lying on this issue, and based on my recent TV viewing, she’s lying multiple times an hour.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More