Election 2020

Lindsey Graham Ad Shows Democratic Opponent Jaime Harrison With Digitally Darkened Skin Tone

Yesterday, I wrote about an ad from Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) campaign team that made the nose of his Democratic Rival, Jon Ossoff appear larger. But now, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and his campaign team have also gotten in the act, producing an ad portraying his Democratic opponent Jaime Harrison, who is African-American with a darker skin tone.

The campaign ad was originally published in The New York Times, and it didn’t appear altered. But then the same ad was featured on Facebook on July 23. That ad features Harrison surrounded by a dark background and shows him with darker skin, CNN reports.

“Hollywood continues to bankroll my opponent, raising tens of thousands in campaign cash to attack me — but they fail to understand this simple fact: South Carolinians won’t stand for Radical Leftists telling them how to think and how to vote,” the Facebook post states. “Are you with me?”

And Graham’s campaign team is crying foul right now because of mounting criticism over this, telling CNN an effect was used in creating the ad and noting that the same effect has been used in previous ads on Graham’s own face. Then they called the issues raised over this a “non-story.”

“It’s sad that detractors are making up false accusations about this graphic — intended to highlight Jaime Harrison’s support from Kathy Griffin, a liberal actress who once posed with a fake severed head of Donald Trump,” said T.W. Arrighi, the communications director for Graham’s campaign in a statement to CNN Tuesday.

“The artistic effect used, the same one that was used on Senator Graham, just two days before in a video is a non-story. The only people who want to shift focus from policies important to South Carolina — like creating jobs and bringing our medical supply chain back from China — are liberal detractors who are trying to hide their radical positions.”

The edited image of Harrison is receiving plenty of attention on social media and it really couldn’t happen at a worse period in time. Racial tensions in the U.S. are already set on boil and this just heats the situation up that much more.

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But Harrison’s campaign team is taking the high road and while team officials declined to comment, they referred CNN to JA Moore, a South Carolina state representative, who said he was “disgusted” by the ad.

“It’s the kind of dog-whistle politics that the Republican party has been practicing for a number of years now,” Moore said.

“We don’t recognize Lindsey Graham,” Moore said. “He’s not the person that was originally elected over 20 years ago to the federal office, and I think this is just another example of a bought-and-paid-for politician who is so focused on his own personal gain and less focused on the people of South Carolina.”

And the Lexington County, South Carolina Democratic Party, shares that opinion, tweeting in an ad that the state “will elect (Harrison) regardless of what kind of stunts Lindsey tries to pull.”

“We don’t care how dark a person’s skin might be. We vote for the person, not their skin pigment. We all know Jaime and we know a fake photo,” the tweet added.

Harrison posted his own thoughts on the situation in this tweet:

I have my own thoughts on this: Maybe Graham should just paint himself orange like his golfing buddy. At least that would be accurate.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity.

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