GOP Congress Competitor Touts Glowing Trump Diagnosis
as Sex Traffic War of Words Intensifies in Separate OT Battle
By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor
A pair of GOP congressional contenders sought to gain traction on Tuesday in come-from-behind bids in Texas primary runoff bouts with one taking credit for officially proclaiming President Donald Trump as mentally sound and physically fit two years ago while the other escalated accusations about the veteran law enforcement official she's running against having an apathetic attitude about human trafficking and sexual slavery.
Congressional District 13 hopeful Ronny Jackson focuses mostly on himself and his experience in government and the military in an online advertisement that he unveiled today with excerpts from his first press conference as Trump's physician in early 2018 when he was grilled on the president's ability to lead the nation in spite of erratic behavior and potentially dangerous lifestyle habits.
While Jackson sought to wrap himself in the president in a runoff duel with first-round leader Josh Winegarner, Houston-area Republican Kathaleen Walls found herself on the defensive in the wake of an attack ad that she aired on broadcast television last week with one of overtime rival Troy Nehls' local adversaries contending that he'd turned the other cheek on a trafficking epidemic as the Fort Bend County sheriff.
Walls fired off an email today that features a quote from Fort Bend Constable Wayne Thompson standing by the allegations that he'd leveled at Nehls in the 30-second spot.
“The ad speaks for itself,” Thompson said. “Troy Nehls is no conservative. He failed the families that needed him most, and failed to charge hundreds of sex trafficking cases.”
Walls is attempting to erase a 21-point initial deficit en route to the July 14 runoff election that had been scheduled originally for late May before Governor Greg Abbott pushed it back to mid-summer. Jackson faces an imposing challenge as well after trailing Winegarner by 19 points in the first round vote that was taken more than three months ago.
Jackson appears to be undaunted in the four-minute video by the president's appearance in Tulsa last weekend at a campaign rally that turned out to be one of the most embarrassing and disturbing events in American political history in the eyes of Democrats and a substantial number of Republicans who think Trump is destroying the GOP and reveling in it.
Jackson kicks off the digital commercial with a flashback to his public diagnosis of Trump as the president's personal doctor at the start of his second year in the White House.
"The liberal press and far left had been building a narrative for months that the president wasn't physically and mentally fit to be president. Right? Which was ridiculous," Jackson says in the ad.
Jackson says in the ad that major media outlets like CNN had assigned medical correspondents to the presidential prognosis briefing in an attempt to "poke holes" in his presentation on how Trump was healthy and sane. Jackson contends that the White House press corps reporters peppered him with "incredibily foolish" questions on how Trump could be in good shape in light of an affinity for junk food and Diet Cokes and lack of interest in exercise.
"It's called genetics," Jackson responded at the event.
Jackson doesn't say in the video whether he agrees with the president's plan to cut diagnostic testing for the coronavirus dramatically at a time when the contagion is in the midst of an alarming resurgence in Texas and other southern states. Jackson didn't offer his professional opinion on federal official Anthony Fauci's insistence that COVID-19 testing in the U.S. is going to increase despite Trump's claim in Tulsa that he'd ordered a reduction in diagnostic tests as a way to cut the number of confirmed cases.
Jackson offers no opinion on whether the president and the minimal number of supporters who turned out for the disastrous event were engaging in socially responsible behavior by ignoring social distancing and refusing to wear masks that medical and scientific experts agree are desperately needed for the nation's ultimate pandemic survival. The BOK arena that Trump had promised to pack after selling a million tickets was less than one third full in a development that the president blamed on media scare tactics and protesters who he branded as dangerous anarchists even though they'd simply been marching in circles around the building with their signs where they were outnumbered by Trump supporters.
Jackson does not say if he agreed with Trump's decision to essentially ignore the pandemic that's paralyzed the country for four months at the rally with the exception of the testing decrease vow and the accolates that he showered on himself for doing a job that he characterized as phenomenal with his handling of the worst public health emergency in more than a century.
Trump spent almost half of a speech that spanned nearly two hours with highly-detailed accounts of a speech at West Point Academy where he repeatedly said that he'd saluted 600 times and his negotiations on a pair of new Air Force One jets that he said he got at a steal for only $4 billion. Trump said that he'd decided that the U.S. needed a new presidential air fleet after noticing that leaders of lesser nations were flying in newer and more luxurious planes.
Walls had been one of the original advocates of the campaign to hold China accountable for the virus spread here amid her assertions that the communist government there had poisoned Americans by not fully disclosing the details of the Asian nation's experience as the suspected source of the disease.
But Walls has shifted her focus to the local domain with an international twist with the new TV ad that centers on Thompson's unsubstantiated claims on Nehls' record as sheriff in terms of the enforcement of human trafficking. Nehls has called the allegations outlandish lies by a candidate who's desperate.
“Texans want a tough leader and not someone like Troy Nehls who will compromise on conservative values in Washington,” Wall said in a Tuesday email defending the TV spot. “Nehls turned a blind eye to sexual slavery, and even called it a ‘lifestyle decision’ for one of its victims. Shame on Troy Nehls. I can only imagine what he’ll do in Washington.”
Nehls has called the allegations outlandish lies by a candidate who's desperate.