Mayor Rahm Emanuel is re-doubling his efforts to tie Garry McCarthy to President Donald Trump and Trump’s controversial attorney Rudolph Giuliani in an apparent attempt to knock McCarthy out of his second-place perch.
The Facebook ad released Tuesday by the Emanuel campaign is strikingly similar to the web ad released on the day the former Chicago police superintendent formerly entered the race against the mayor who fired him.
It opens with a narrator proclaiming that “big-shot Republicans really like Garry McCarthy,” followed by a clip of Trump praising McCarthy to the hilt.
“The head of the police in Chicago is a person I know. He’s a phenomenal guy,” Trump proclaims.
As a Valentine heart envelopes photos of Trump and McCarthy, the narrator declares there is “mutual admiration…One columnist noted that a McCarthy speech “sounded almost Trump-like at times.”
Trump is shown again saying, “He’s a phenomenal guy.” The narrator then says, “A local Republican leader approached McCarthy about serving in Trump’s administration. And Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani weighed in with big bucks for McCarthy’s campaign.”
Trump is shown for a third time saying, “He’s a phenomenal guy.” The narrator closes by saying, “Mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy: the No. 1 choice of big-shot Republicans.”
McCarthy branded the Facebook ad “patently false.”
“Rahm should focus on his job of reducing gun violence, fixing pensions and improving education across the city, instead of making up false stories and posting them on Facebook,” McCarthy was quoted as saying in an emailed statement.
“Nine days ago, I issued a challenge to debate this mayor on the deadly serious topic of gun violence, but got no response from him. So, instead of discussing that important issue, he resorts to this.”
Emanuel’s new attack ad comes just one day after a poll bankrolled by Michael Sacks, Emanuel’s close friend, business adviser and largest political donor, showed McCarthy firmly entrenched in second place.
After the weekend bloodbath that saw 71 people shot, 12 of them dead, Giuliani took to Twitter to denounce Emanuel and trumpet McCarthy as a “policing genius” who “can do for Chicago what I did for NYC.”
But, Giuliani mistakenly referred to McCarthy as Jerry, misspelled Emanuel’s last name and grossly over-estimated the body count.
McCarthy is an outspoken, tough-talking New Yorker who proudly accepted a $5,600 campaign contribution from his former boss and mentor, ex-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Giuliani’s outspoken support for Trump, particularly during a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention, has given the Emanuel campaign an opening to exploit.
They’re trying to portray McCarthy as a Republican out of step with voters in this overwhelmingly Democratic city.
But McCarthy has proven he’s not about to take that attack lying down.
After Emanuel released the first ad, McCarthy grabbed the offensive—by tying the mayor to Trump.
“Washington is in a world of hurt. We’re in a place where our government is completely ineffective. And I think [Trump] is an incredibly polarizing figure-just like Rahm Emanuel,” McCarthy told the Chicago Sun-Times.
So, McCarthy sees a parallel between Emanuel and Trump?
“Absolutely, I do . . . [They’re both] polarizing figures. People come up to me all day long and talk about their distaste for the mayor. And once in a while, I have to remind them, `Does that mean that you like me or does that mean you’re gonna vote against him,'” McCarthy said.
Also on Tuesday, mayoral challenger Lori Lightfoot ridiculed results of the Sacks-financed poll showing Emanuel in relatively decent shape to win a third-term if he chooses to pursue it.
“There’s poll after poll,…that shows a consistency, which is that the mayor is seriously in trouble. Michael Sacks would not go out of his way to commission a poll and then release it to the public if he felt like everything was fine,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot pointed to other polls that show Emanuel’s approval ratings “stuck in the mid-30’s or lower” and said “nothing has improved for him” since then.
“Michael Sacks can try to cherry-pick and put out a rosy story about the mayor. But I know differently and, more importantly, the voters know differently,” she said.
“There is a reason why, everywhere I go, people tell me they want change.”