Republican Josh Mandel speaks to supporters Tuesday in Cleveland.
An advertisement that began running Friday on Ohio radio stations attacking U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and supporting his Republican opponent, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, contains a series of statements about Mr. Brown that even the ad's sponsor admits aren't true.
“The ad is actually meant to be a parody,” said Danielle Hagen, spokesman for the nonprofit conservative political action group Ending Spending Action Fund, when asked to provide substantiation for the statements in the ad that ran on WSPD-AM in Toledo and around the state. “If you look up similar ads like ‘the most interesting man in the world,’ you’ll be able to see the hyperbole.”
The ad claims that Senator Brown wants to outlaw dentists from Toledo to Youngstown because “Sherrod Brown is against drilling anywhere.”
It also says that he believes U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland) was an “awesome” mayor of Cleveland and that “way he bankrupted Cleveland was even more awesome.”
Mr. Kucinich was mayor of Cleveland in the 1970s when the city was forced into default.
“He dreams of an Obamacare future, one in which a trip to the Cleveland Clinic feels just like going to the DMV,” the ad says.
And it says Senator Brown “was happy that LeBron left because he loves everything that’s left.” Former Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James, an Akron native, upset fans when he left the team in 2010 to join the Miami Heat.
Brown campaign spokesman Justin Barasky said the claims are "ridiculous."
“Of course he doesn't think [bankruptcy of Cleveland] was awesome, and of course he doesn't want to ban dentistry. Like Josh Mandel, these third-party ads are lying about his record,” Mr. Barasky said.
Dos Equis beer is advertised in commercials portraying a suave, bearded man as “the most interesting man in the world.” The anti-Brown ad uses similar background music and calls Mr. Brown “the most liberal senator in the world.”
The most direct reference to the beer ads is a line in the political ad that says, “Stay thirsty, Ohio,” which follows the Dos Equis commercials’ “Stay thirsty, my friends” tagline.
Ms. Hagen said the ad is supposed to make the point, through exaggeration, that Mr. Brown is “the most liberal senator in the country,” as rated by the National Journal.
The Dos Equis ads make absurd claims about the star, who of course, prefers Dos Equis beer, such as, “He wouldn’t be afraid to show his feminine side — if he had one,” and “When it is raining, it is because he is thinking of something sad,” and “At museums, he is allowed to touch the art.”
The Brown and Mandel campaigns have attacked each other over allegedly false ads repeatedly. This may be the first time that an advertiser put false statements on the air and didn't even claim they were true.
Travis Considine, a spokesman for Mr. Mandel, said, “We do not coordinate or endorse ads from third-party groups.”
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.