In the western North Carolina congressional campaign already notable for its bare-knuckled ferocity, GOP candidate Madison Cawthorn’s latest attack video against Democrat Morris (Moe) Davis stands out: TERRORIST DEFENDER, the video proclaims in bold text and shock-inducing graphics.
“Moe Davis’ record shows he’s no patriot,” reads the text.
“His actions against America make him unfit to serve,” it continues. Then this: “Moe Davis has sided with foreign enemies over our own country numerous times.” Cawthorn’s accusations brand Davis a traitor, the worst accusation that could be leveled at any veteran military officer. Davis, 62, is a retired Air Force colonel and decorated military lawyer whose 25 years of service culminated as the chief prosecutor of alleged al-Qaeda combatants imprisoned at the U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo, Cuba.
The 25-year-old Republican candidate making the accusation, is a self-described investor and college dropout who styles himself as the potential conservative counterpoint to Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a favorite of progressives and a target of the right. He has been warmly embraced by President Trump and former Congressman Mark Meadows, and was given a prime speaking slot at the Republican National Convention. Cawthorn’s attack is directed at Davis’ strength as a high-profile and outspoken military veteran and, with ample backing from conservative political action committee funding, is likely to be a featured piece in the brutal campaign’s final weeks.
But the attack has a fundamental flaw: it runs contrary to the facts.
The AVL Watchdog’s review of the Cawthorn video’s broadside allegation that Davis defended terrorists is false legally and literally. On other details the video distorts the reality of Davis’ actions with out-of-context claims, emotional appeals unrelated to Davis, and unproven or rebutted allegations against the captives whom Davis purportedly aided.
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