The National Rifle Association will spend $2 million informing swing-state voters that if those killed in Benghazi were alive today, they would endorse Donald Trump.
In the gun-rights group’s first campaign ad of the 2016 cycle, Mark Geist, a Marine Corps veteran and survivor of the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, stares into the camera, eyes narrowed in contempt.
“A lot of people say they’re not going to vote this November because their candidate didn’t win. Well, I know some people who won’t be voting this year either,” Geist says, as he strolls through a cemetery. “Hillary as president? No, thanks. I served in Benghazi. My friends didn’t make it. They did their part. Do yours.”
On Tuesday, the sister of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in Benghazi, told The New Yorker that she does not hold Hillary Clinton responsible for her brother’s death.
“I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta,” Anne Stevens told the magazine, following the release of the House Committee on Benghazi’s report. “They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had.”
The ad buy is one of the largest by a pro-Trump outside group this cycle, and the 30-second spot will appear on the airwaves in Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, USA Today reports.
Polls released Wednesday from Ballotpedia show Trump trailing Clinton in all of those states except Nevada, where no poll was taken. The RealClearPolitics average of recent national surveys puts Clinton seven points ahead. However, the Democratic nominee has enjoyed a near monopoly on the airwaves up to this point, running 105,000 ads to Trump’s 33,000, according to a recent analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that an ad shaming #NeverTrump Republicans for betraying our fallen warriors will do much to expand Trump’s base of support — unless a bunch of GOP governors adopt the voting restrictions proposed by Eric Trump earlier this month.
“My wife and I watched 13 Hours this weekend, and literally, I was livid after watching this movie,” the Republican nominee’s son told Fox News, referencing Michael Bay’s Benghazi thriller. “I think in order to vote in this next election, you should have to watch that movie.”