NEW AD: “They Want That Seat”: Far-Right Republicans **Really** Want Tiffany Smiley in the U.S. Senate

News | October 19, 2022

New ad spotlights Smiley’s appearances with far-right, extremist media figures including Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Newt Gingrich

Smiley would put Mitch McConnell in charge, help pass extreme  Republican agenda including national abortion ban, slashing Medicare & Social Security

 They Want That Seat HERE***

(Seattle, WA) —Today, the People for Patty Murray campaign launched a new TV ad sounding the alarm on Senate Republicans’ efforts to flip Washington state’s U.S. Senate seat red. It details the dangerous implications of Mitch McConnell’s and Senate Republicans’ extreme agenda, including a national ban on abortion with no exceptions, the slashing of Medicare and privatization of Social Security, and their anti-democracy record. 

“MAGA Republicans hope you vote for Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate, Tiffany Smiley, so they can pass their extreme agenda,” the ad begins. “A national ban on abortion, with no exceptions… slashing Medicare and privatizing Social Security… overturning our elections.”

In between the narration describing Republicans’ agenda, the ad features clips of right-wing media figures from Fox News and Newsmax — key players in the right-wing disinformation machine — talking up Smiley and making clear that extreme national Republicans are desperate to see Smiley flip the Senate to Mitch McConnell, so they can pass their extreme agenda that’s wrong for Washington state:

“We want that seat,”Sean Hannity says to Smiley on air.

“Tiffany Smiley’s an amazing candidate,” Newt Gingrich says in an audio clip.

“If you can beat Patty Murray in Washington state, that will be a political revolution,”  Tucker Carlson says to Smiley in one of her many interviews on his show.

“We’ll be watching,” Newsmax host Tom Basile says to Smiley during an appearance on his show.

The ad closes with a photo of Smiley and Trump, and audio of Smiley saying, “I met with President Trump and I was so impressed.”

Tiffany Smiley was personally recruited by Mitch McConnell to run for Senate, and she has cozied up to the right wing’s for-profit disinformation machine ever since. Smiley repeatedly made the rounds on Fox News and Newsmax with toxic and divisive personalities including those featured in the ad: 

  • Tucker Carlson leads a nightly news show that has been dubbed “the most racist show in the history of cable news” and is well-loved by white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Carlson has also been called “perhaps the highest-profile proponent of ‘Trumpism.” Carlson has been extensively reported on for his willingness to lie on air, his promotion of dangerous conspiracy theories and racist rhetoric like the “Great Replacement Theory,” and his staunch defense of Donald Trump and violent insurrectionists. 
  • Sean Hannity was such a close ally of Donald Trump that White House advisors considered Hannity the “shadow chief of staff” during Trump’s presidency. Hannity has promoted numerous conspiracy theories on his show, including the racist “birtherism” theory.
  • Newt Gingrich is credited with “turning partisan battles into bloodsport” during his time in office and widely acknowledged to have paved the way for the rise of Donald Trump, with his gleeful prioritization of combative politics over bipartisanship. Recently, Gingrich gained national attention for arguing that members of the January 6 committee should be threatened with jail time.
  • Tom Basile is a far-right media personality who hosts a show on Newsmax and has a history of fringe and bizarre statements; he blamed the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the “wussification” of the United States. 

Tiffany Smiley’s campaign has received hundreds of thousands in combined campaign support from Mitch McConnell’s leadership PAC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and a Trump-funded super PAC. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has already spent more than $750,000 toward electing Smiley. Last month, Trump-funded super PAC Our American Century — which OpenSecrets describes as “a single-candidate super PAC in support of Donald Trump” — dropped half a million dollars on TV ads to prop up Smiley, with even more reserved in air time. And Evergreen Principles — a new GOP PAC formed to support Smiley’s bid for Senate — has poured more than $1.5 million into the race.

“Tiffany Smiley is constantly on air with far-right extremists like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham — really divisive and dangerous personalities who are all-in to help her raise money off the right wing’s for-profit disinformation machine,” said Naomi Savin, Murray Campaign spokesperson. “Voters should be under no illusion: — in the Senate, Tiffany Smiley would be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell and the extreme Republican agenda.”