Republican congressional candidate Grant Starrett has begun airing a radio ad that says his opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, recently insulted nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, reports the Times-Free Press.
The campaign’s 60-second ad began running Wednesday evening on Chattanooga’s WGOW and Nashville’s WWTN, according to Starrett’s campaign. Starrett, an attorney, is challenging three-term incumbent DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician, in the 4th Congressional District’s Aug. 4 Republican primary.
His ad features a recording of DesJarlais criticizing both Levin and talk show radio host and blogger Erik Erikson at what the campaign says was a Lincoln County GOP meeting earlier this month. Levin has been critical of DesJarlais in the past while Erikson, former editor-in-chief of the Red State blog, has endorsed Starrett in his challenge to the congressman.
“You listen to conservative Mark Levin every day,” says a female announcer in the spot. “Would Mark Levin betray your principles at any price? Here’s what Scott DesJarlais thinks about about Mark Levin.”
The ad switches to a recording of DesJarlais saying “there’s bought and paid for political conservatives as well, Mark Levin apparently is one, I think Erick Erikson is another, and so I think they can be sold to the highest bidder.”
The female announcer’s voice resumes, asking, “Mark Levin, bought and paid for?” The announcer later goes on to ask “Who is Scott DesJarlais to question Mark Levin’s conservative principles?”
The ad then charges DesJarlais “voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps, failed to hold abortion providers accountable and voted with Obama to cut our military.
“You’ve been betrayed by Scott DesJarlais,” the announcer charges.
In a statement, DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson, who did not address the ad’s citing of the congressman’s criticisms of Levin, called Starrett “a 28-year old trust fund kid from California who just moved to the Fourth District and has absolutely no ties to the community. He has nothing to run on, an inability to tell the truth and establishment views that do not align with the district he just moved into.”
Note: The Starrett campaign news release, including transcript, is below.
News release from Grant Starrett campaign
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, the Grant Starrett for Congress campaign announced they have released their first radio ad in the Republican primary race in the 4th Congressional District.
DesJarlais was caught on audio recording insulting conservative talk radio host Mark Levin as a “bought and paid for” conservative who “can be sold to the highest bidder.” Audio of the ad can be heard here and on the radio locally on WWTN Nashville and WGOW Chattanooga.
Levin is consistently ranked as one of the top-5 most important hosts on talk radio by Talkers Magazine. Levin’s nationally-syndicated show can be heard across Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District during evenings on WGOW Chattanooga, WHUB Cookeville, WAEW Crossville, WWTN Nashville, and WVNN Huntsville.
Statement from Grant Starrett, Republican Candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District
“This month Scott DesJarlais attacked conservative icon Mark Levin as a “bought and paid for political conservative” who could be “sold to the highest bidder.” Anyone who listens to The Great One or reads his books knows how ridiculous that is.”
“You listen to conservative Mark Levin every day. Would Mark Levin betray your principles at any price? Here’s what Scott DesJarlais thinks about about Mark Levin.”
“There’s bought and paid for political conservatives as well, Mark Levin apparently is one, I think Erick Erickson is another, and so I think they can be sold to the highest bidder.”
“Mark Levin- bought and paid for?”
“There’s bought and paid for political conservatives as well, Mark Levin apparently is one.”
“Who is Scott DesJarlais to question Mark Levin’s conservative principles?
DesJarlais voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps, failed to hold abortion providers accountable, and voted with Obama to cut our military. You’ve been betrayed by Scott DesJarlais.
Grant Starrett’s the faithful conservative choice for Congress. Go to GrantforTN.com to learn more.”
“I’m Grant Starrett and I approve this message.”
“Paid for by Grant Starrett for Congress.”