Super PAC uses college party footage to attack Dem in Georgia House race

A super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership launched a $1.1 million TV and digital ad campaign to needle a Democrat running for an open Georgia House seat.

The ad paints Jon Ossoff as a “30-year-old frat boy” and features video footage from his college days.


The Congressional Leadership Fund’s (CLF) ad — titled “The Truth Strikes Back” in a reference to “Star Wars” — features clips of Ossoff at a college party dressed up as Han Solo, a popular character from the movie franchise.

The ad questions his credentials as a former national security staffer, cutting together footage of Ossoff claiming to have five years of national security experience with scenes of him playing drinking games at a college party.

The spot also includes a clip of an a capella concert where “Ossoff and his college buddies making fun of Georgetown’s female students.”

The ad buy is the first significant spending from an outside GOP group in the special election to fill Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s former seat in the north Atlanta suburbs.

The spot targeting the millennial congressional candidate went viral on social media and will run in the Atlanta media market from Thursday until the April 18 primary.

“It is sad that the hope of the Democratic Party rests on a 30-year-old frat boy who has spent his adult life living outside of Georgia’s 6th District playing dress-up with his drinking buddies,” said CLF executive director Corry Bliss.

“The truth is Jon Ossoff simply isn’t being honest with Georgia voters — and if you like Jon Ossoff playing Han Solo, just wait until you see what we release next.”

Georgia's 6th District is considered traditionally conservative, but President Trump’s razor-thin 1-point victory has Democrats optimistic about their chances, hoping backlash against the president propels them to victory.

Democrats are coalescing around Ossoff, a former aide to Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, who already claims to have $2 million in campaign contributions. Liberal groups have been raising money for him, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sending nine of its staffers to the district to help elect him.

Johnson, Ossoff's former boss, came to his defense following the release of the ad, calling the attack "absurd."

“Jon spent five years working on National Security issues for me, and he worked on such sensitive programs that he received a top secret security clearance from the Department of Defense," Johnson said.

"Washington political operatives are coming into Georgia to spread false personal attacks – it’s what the American people are sick and tired of.”

A state progressive group, Better Georgia, responded to CLF’s ad with it’s own video, entitled “A New Hope,” which is another “Star Wars” reference. Better Georgia’s video comes to Ossoff’s defense and pushes back on Republicans’ criticisms by describing him as “honest” and “serious.”

“Jon Ossoff is fighting for women, Jon Ossoff is fighting for transparency, Jon Ossoff is fighting Trump,” the ad’s narrator says in the video. “And he’s also a huge Star Wars fan.”

“Sorry, Trump Republicans. But District 6 has a New Hope.”

While the CLF is pouring money into the special election, the National Republican Congressional Committee is sitting out of the primary for now.

The April 18 “jungle primary” features 18 candidates. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters regardless of party will advance to a June 20 runoff.