Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Tuesday released a campaign ad touting an act she signed last year to protect Confederate monuments in the state.
Speaking at a campaign appearance later in the day, Ivey defended the ad, criticizing “folks in Washington” and “out-of-state liberals” for attempting to interfere with the state’s historical monuments.
"We can't and shouldn't even try to charge or erase or tear down our history,” she said, according to AL.com. “We must learn from our history.”
Ivey took over Alabama's governorship after last year's resignation of Gov. Robert Bentley (R), who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations. She's running for election to a full term in November.
Last May, Ivey signed the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017, legislation to block local governments from removing monuments or renaming public schools that have existed for more than 40 years. The legislation came amid a national debate over whether Confederate monuments should be allowed to remain in place.
In the campaign ad released Tuesday, Ivey tears into Washington, saying it’s “politically correct nonsense” to think that they “always know better.”
“We can’t change or erase our history, but here in Alabama, we know something Washington doesn’t — to get where we’re going means understanding where we’ve been,” she says in the ad.
Ivey also blasts “special interest groups” for calling for the statues to be removed. The Alabama NAACP and the Alabama Black Caucus, an arm of the state’s Democratic Party, have both opposed the law protecting the statues.