HomeAsian AmericansCampaign ad attacking opponent speaking Korean is accused of being racist

Campaign ad attacking opponent speaking Korean is accused of being racist

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) does not approve of Rep. Chris Collins’ new campaign ad, according to The Buffalo News. The New York Republican, indicted on insider trading charges, attacked his Democratic opponent Nate McMurray in a TV ad with misleading captions.

The ad shows McMurray, whose wife is a naturalized citizen from South Korea, speaking in Korean, but the added captions suggested that McMurray wanted “fewer jobs for us … more jobs for China & Korea.”

The ad also claims that McMurray “helped American companies hire foreign workers,” with a picture of Kim Jong-un hovering in the background.

The ad ends with, “You can take Nate McMurray at his word.”

The snippet of McMurray speaking in Korean came from a video that his campaign released before the June summit between the U.S. and North Korea. However, a translation by The New York Times confirmed that the clip of the video aired in the ad did not mention jobs. McMurray said he recorded the video to highlight his language skills and to express optimism about the possibility of peace between North Korea and South Korea.

McMurray called the ad “xenophobic,” according to The New York Times.

“It was hurtful,” said McMurray, who mentioned he had watched the ad with his half-Korean son. “They’ve used everything in their power to make it look like the very fact of speaking Korean or Chinese is un-American or wrong.”

McMurray, the town supervisor of Grand Island, New York, won a Fulbright scholarship in 2003 to study at the Constitutional Court of Korea in South Korea and taught United States law at the Judicial Research and Training Institute in Seoul.

“This is a real video of Nate McMurray that he removed from social media because he didn’t want to defend his efforts to promote a Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement that shipped nearly 100,000 U.S. jobs overseas,” said Natalie Baldassarre, a spokeswoman for the Collins campaign. “Nate McMurray needs a new video to explain why he opposes President Trump’s policies that are protecting American jobs and American workers. Hopefully, he’ll leave that video up.”

McMurray said the video was removed post-summit due to disappointment with how the summit was executed. “It was a slap in the face to freedom,” he said.

“I won’t shy away from the fact that I speak a foreign language, that I’ve been on the front lines of the trade war that’s redefining our economy, and that I’ve been fighting FOR American workers,” said McMurray. “Do you think I’d have the support of the local and national labor community if I was going to ship jobs to Asia? Of course not.”

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