Gabriel Gomez Calls Ed Markey ‘Pond Scum’
Commence puns about the race getting “down in the muck.”
At the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce Thursday, an NPR reporter interviewed Gabriel Gomez about his TV ad alleging that Ed Markey has compared him to Osama bin Laden and blamed him for the Newtown shootings, and Gomez got a little heated, calling his opponent “dirty and low” and “pond scum.” Pond scum! His complaints aren’t particularly new, or markedly different from the ones made in his TV ad, but they’re more colorful, they’re on video coming from the candidate’s mouth, and Buzzfeed found them last night. So here we are. According to Buzzfeed, he specifically said:
You know I’ve got four young kids, and they gotta sit there and gotta see an ad with their dad — who served honorably, talk to anybody I served with — whether as a pilot or as a SEAL, anybody I worked with,” Gomez said. “And for him to be as dirty and low, pond scum, like to put me up next to Bin Laden, he’s just gotta be called what he is. That simple.
Gomez’s comments are really only a step above the names thrown at Markey in Gomez’s ad itself, which calls him “dirty Ed Markey.” (I think with the “scum” thing he might be going for something related to D.C. being a swamp, and Ed Markey being a long-time creature of the swamp, or something. Of course, D.C. is a swamp because it sits on a river, not a pond, but Gomez isn’t running for poet laureate, here.)
FactCheck.org weighed in on the validity of Gomez’s complaints, made in a TV ad, but you can decide for yourself:
• Gomez says Markey “actually blames Gomez for the Newtown shooting.” That’s in reference to a Markey ad that says Gomez “is against banning high-capacity magazines like the ones used in the Newtown school shooting.”
• He says Markey released an ad “comparing him to bin Laden.” That’s in reference to web video from the Markey campaign which shows images of Gomez alongside a film showing a photo of bin Laden. The thrust of the video’s attack is that Gomez joined a group that attacked President Obama during the 2012 election for politicizing the death of bin Laden.
Whether or not you agree that Markey did these things, Gomez’s complaints with Markey’s negative ads seem like effective ways to avoid responding to the policy issues contained in them. (Gomez is, in fact, actually against banning high capacity magazines.) But when Gomez reframes Markey’s attacks as blaming him for Newtown and assailing his military service, he doesn’t have to talk about those other things. Complaining about Markey’s ads, National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brad Dayspring (who isn’t doing Gomez any favors of late) complained that Markey ” will do just about anything to avoid talking about the issues that voters care about.” If those issues include the candidates’ positions on assault weapons bans, it seems Gomez is pretty content not to discuss them either.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Gomez made his "pond scum" comments on Sunday. We regret the error.