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The Human Rights Campaign has launched a new digital ad to counter claims being pushed by Republicans, including former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, that President Donald Trump is the “most pro-gay president in American history.”
The video, entitled “Liar, Liar,” chronicles some of the Trump administration’s most panned statements, including exaggerating the size of the crowd at his inauguration, his comments following violence in Charlottesville, and his claim earlier this year that the COVID-19 virus would “disappear” as warmer weather arrived.
“Donald Trump lies. Now they’re at it again,” the ad says, including a clip of Grenell making his “pro-gay” claim on Trump’s behalf in a video released earlier this week. In that video, Grenell also attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s own record on LGBTQ rights, citing comments in a 1973 article in which Biden said his “gut reaction” was that homosexuals in high-ranking government positions posed potential risks to national security.
The ad calls Grenell’s statement “an absurd lie,” and cites a review by The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker that gave Grenell’s claims “4 Pinocchios,” the highest rating that a lie or misleading statement can receive.
In that review, the Post‘s Glenn Kessler wrote: “Grenell manages to both significantly mislead about Biden’s record and oversell Trump’s. Biden’s positions evolved over the years, but often he was ahead of the general public or other politicians in recognizing gay rights or seeking to thwart discrimination against gay people. Grenell pretends comments from a half-century ago are relevant today.
“As for Trump, the only items Grenell can cite in support of his supposedly pro-gay record concern Grenell’s own temporary appointment and a policy announced by Grenell that Trump apparently knew little about. (We’re still not sure why Iran policy gets mentioned as a pro-gay issue.) That’s pretty thin gruel on which to claim Trump is the most pro-gay president in history, especially when Trump has worked actively to undermine protections for the LGBT community that were enacted under Obama.
“Trump is pro-Grenell, but that doesn’t mean his administration is pro-gay.”
The HRC ad then shifts to tout Joe Biden’s pro-LGBTQ positions, which have evolved over time since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972.
While Biden was never vehemently anti-gay in terms of his voting record, his earlier record on LGBTQ rights was mixed, but he shifted toward more LGBTQ-friendly positions — as did much of the country — over the course of his Senate career, and particularly as vice president, where he worked in tandem with President Barack Obama.
“Joe Biden helped pass hate crimes legislation, repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” got out in front on marriage equality, and supported LGBTQ health care protections in Obamacare,” the ad’s narrator says. “Joe Biden will be a true friend to the LGBTQ community.”
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued a statement echoing those claims.
“Donald Trump lies and lies and lies. And while the LGBTQ community knows that, and knows of the hundreds of attacks by the Trump administration over the last three and a half years, we must remind our allies what is at stake,” David said in a statement. “This video highlights a predilection and philosophy of lies under Trump, and reminds voters of the progress we can expect from a Joe Biden administration. Now, we must make sure to do everything possible over the next 69 days to ensure we elect a pro-equality ally in the White House.”
See HRC’s latest ad, “Liar, Liar,” below:
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