New TV ad from Greg Abbott alters clip to look like Beto O’Rourke wants to pull police funding | Texas News | San Antonio


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A new ad from Governor Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign combines video to put words in his rival’s mouth.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign is airing TV spots that cut and piece together opponent Beto O’Rourke’s comments to make it sound like the Democrat has issued broad endorsement of “defunding the police force.”

Republican outgoing president new announcementwhich began airing on Tuesday, includes a clip from O’Rourke’s 2020 appearance on the Young America podcast in which he discussed Black Lives Matter and police reform.

In the unedited clip, the former congressman from El Paso says he supports shifting funds for “items that have over-militarized our police” to programs focused on crime prevention. He stops short of saying that law enforcement agencies should be funded.

However, Abbott’s announcement pirates over 50 words of O’Rourke’s statement. Then he adds words from a separate sentence, making it sound like the candidate has largely approved of cutting police budgets.

The 30-second ad alternates a video of O’Rourke with images of violent crime and masked protesters. It also displays the bold yellow words “Defund, dismantle the police” on screen as a dramatic voiceover claims the Democrat “supports groups that support defunding the police.”

Here is an actual transcript of O’Rourke’s comments. The words in bold were those cut out and reassembled by the Abbott campaign.

So I really like that Black Lives Matters [sic] and other protesters have brought this to the fore, to fund, you know, those positions that have over-militarized our police, and instead investing that money in the human capital of your community, make sure you have the services, the help, the support, the health care that you need to be well and do not need police intervention. And then also in some necessary cases, completely dismantle those police forces and rebuild them.

Abbott’s press office referred questions about the announcement to governor’s campaign officials. Campaign officials were not available for comment.

In an emailed statement, campaign spokesman O’Rourke said the Democrat has repeatedly voiced his opposition to cutting law enforcement budgets, adding that he voted to increase funding the police as a member of the El Paso City Council and as a member of Congress.

“Greg Abbott is trying to distract Texans from the fact that violent crime in the state is on the rise in every area under his watch, as rates of bringing violent criminals to justice have dropped since he took office” , added Evans. “Homicides alone are up more than 50% since he’s been governor – TWICE the national rate.”

Abbott’s new TV spot recycles part of clip manipulated similarly to Republican campaign used in an October attack ad against O’Rourke. A CNN report at the time described the ad as “misleading” due to its “particularly egregious” edits. The clip included three separate instances in which O’Rourke’s interview was cut and reassembled to put words in his mouth.

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