A super-PAC backing Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.) is pulling no punches with the first attack ad of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, complete with fire-breathing bald eagles and slams of Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report MORE and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Graham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan MORE for their stances on government surveillance.
Mimicking the aggressive style of a wrestling event promo, the one-minute spot teases the Senate debate Sunday ("Sunday! Sunday!") over expiring portions of the Patriot Act as the “greatest brawl for liberty of the century."
The ad, released by America's Liberty PAC, pits a photoshopped picture of Paul’s face on a bodybuilder against President Obama, “the head of the Washington spy machine.”
It also needles Obama’s “so-called conservative accomplices,” Cruz (R-Texas) and Graham (R-S.C.). Cruz, referred to by the super PAC as the “capitulating Canadian” as a dig against the fact that the GOP candidate was born in the country, supports a compromise bill called the USA Freedom Act.
Graham, an ardent supporter of government surveillance programs, is shown trying “to read your emails while doing donuts in a 1997 Geo Metro while it’s on fire.”
The overblown ad highlights the divide in the Senate over these expiring provisions.
Paul successfully blocked all efforts by the Senate late last week to temporarily renew programs that allow the warrantless data collection of Americans’ phone calls and to agree on a compromise measure. That gives the body just hours during a special Sunday session to negotiate a solution before the provisions expire.
Paul has been taking flack from his party this week over the move, with Graham’s Senate ally and 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home MORE accusing him of blocking the deal to drum up support for his campaign.
His assertion that Republican hawks stoked the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria drew the ire of GOP rivals — Govs. Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.) and Scott Walker (Wisc.) — with Jindal referring to him as “unsuited” for the presidency.