Dan Forest’s embattled campaign for governor took another hit after local leaders in Asheville, North Carolina, slammed his latest false ad. The video purports to show Asheville under siege and burning, but local politicians say the ad is just flat wrong, WLOS reports.
Mayor Manheimer of Asheville said the ad paints the city in a false sense and could backfire on both Forest and the city.
“Ironically, what I think this ad accomplishes is, one, it reinforces distrust in politicians because they’re using fake pictures and lies to try to get elected,” Manheimer told WLOS. “And second of all, while he (Forest) purports to be concerned about the tourism economy in Asheville, he’s using an ad that will be used state-wide, that falsely shows images of Asheville, which hurts our economy, which hurts the local businesses in Asheville that depend on tourism.”
Other politicians in the area called for Forest to pull down the ad, echoing the mayor’s sentiment that it would be hurtful for Asheville’s economy.
“Dan Forest claims he’ll fight for an economy that works, but he’s actually hurting Asheville businesses — spreading fear and lying about the community I love. It’s a glimpse of what he would be as governor — dangerous and divisive,” Sen. Terry Van Duyn said. “He should pull the ad immediately.”
In response to questions about the ad using stock footage from New York City and Washington, D.C., the Forest campaign issued a statement calling the story “an embarrassing waste of time.” That sentiment matches earlier statements from the campaign when Forest was asked by WRAL what his top 3 priorities would be or how he proposed bringing health care coverage to North Carolinians.
“They’re not the issues the people of North Carolina really care about,” the campaign said. They offered what “real” questions should be asked but declined to answer those either.