Political analyst: “a lot of folks” will say “this is an outrageous depiction of Tom Reed when he was a lot heavier.”
Martha Robertson is the Democratic challenger to Republican Tom Reed in the key NY-23 swing congressional district in upstate New York. Robertson is a “Red-to-Blue” DCCC designee, meaning that they rate her as one of the top prospects to flip a Republican seat.
But the campaign has not been going well for her, with all independent analysts giving her little hope of winning. Her campaign also has been plagued by a fundraising scandal, and questions about her strong support for single-payer healthcare.
But there is a new scandal brewing for Robertson, one first exposed here at Legal Insurrection: Robertson’s campaign repeatedly and prominently uses old photos of Reed showing Reed to be very heavy, and emphasizing photo angles making him look obese. Those old photos, however, no longer represent what Reed looks like, since he had gastric bypass surgery in early 2013.
Here’s just one of many examples of how the Robertson campaign focuses on Reed’s prior weight problems:
That’s doesn’t look anything like Tom Reed looks now, and makes him look heavier even than many other pre-surgery photos.
Now the issue of “Fat Shaming” has broken into the mainstream upstate and national media. Local station WETM reports:
Martha Robertson’s first television ad of the election season has raised some controversy. Republicans have cried foul over Robertson’s use of older pictures of Congressman Tom Reed from before he got gastric bypass surgery.
Since the surgery, Reed has dropped more than 100 pounds.
18 News Political Analyst Dr. Stephen Coleman said he feels this is all part of the political game. “There’s a lot of folks who have gotten that surgery for health reasons and I think they’re going to identify with Tom Reed, and say this is outrageous, this is an outrageous depiction of Tom Reed when he was a lot heavier,” said Dr. Coleman. “The Robertson campaign is trying to make him look his worst, and that’s just not right.”
The story also has been picked up by Fox News:
And Buzzfeed Politics:
Reed recently was interviewed on the subject:
The Robertson campaign is saying a lot to mainstream media about the issue, but the one thing it’s not saying is “Sorry.”
(Video added) In fact, Robertson is laughing at the complaint of her use of “Fat Shaming”:DONATE
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