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Controversial Political Ad Getting Attention

Posted on: 11:52 am, May 14, 2010, by , updated on: 02:48pm, February 6, 2012

You get a break from an avalanche of political ads next week after Tuesday’s primary but political watchers continue to focus on one ad running statewide, targeting Senator Arlen Specter.

The ad’s beginning is the only time you see Congressman Joe Sestak in his attack ad. It is powerful because of one memorable line.

“I changed parties so I could get re-elected,” Senator Arlen Specter said in the commercial.

No one thinks 30-second political ads are fair, accurate or even informative. The question is, does this one go a little too far?

Voters who have seen the commercial retain that one phrase of the senator’s.

“I changed parties so I could get re-elected.”

“Almost cheesy,” said Michael Slater of Scranton.

“It’s not what he said, it’s how he said it,” said Sandra Browder of Scranton.

“I would actually say he wasn’t sincere and that would make me want to think about if I want to re-elect him,” Slater added.

Then Newswatch 16 played them the senator’s full statement from which that clip came.

“I changed parties so I could get re-elected and I have heard that again and again and again on the street. “Senator, I’m glad you will be able to stay in the Senate and help the state and the nation,’” Senator Specter said in an interview in May, 2009.

“It was only used in a subliminal way, for them to allow you to pick up just what the first thought would be, rather than what the true undertone was,” Browder said, adding it sounds like dirty pool.

“A lot of people take things out of context, and really, that’s politics,” said Slater.

Some Democrats said the one-time Republican’s image with ex President Bush and ex-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin are powerful enough but the phrase that sticks out has a different meaning when in it’s full context.

Newswatch 16 contacted Congressman Joe Sestak’s office to get a response to claims that his ad took Senator Specter’s comments out of context. The campaign said: “It is Specter’s cut of the clip, not our ad, that is out of context.” The Sestak campaign went on to say that all the controversy over the ad is “a desperate move by the Specter campaign.”

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