Rantz: Bob Ferguson shut off comments to avoid criticism after Dave Reichert attack ad

Apr 17, 2024, 5:55 PM

Bob Ferguson...

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (Photo courtesy of the Office of Attorney General)

(Photo courtesy of the Office of Attorney General)

The Bob Ferguson for governor campaign is acting concerned about his chances of beating his challenger, former King County Sheriff and congressman Dave Reichert. He shut off comments to his recent social media smears on X, knowing he’d be called out for disingenuously attacking religious perspectives. But he’s got the Seattle Times helping out his campaign with what is effectively an in-kind donation.

Ferguson, who uses his @BobFergusonAG account for both campaign and government business, posted an edited clip of Reichert speaking at a Pierce County Central Committee meeting a couple of months ago. Reichert spoke about a religious view he holds (one that is identical to that of Muslims, which Ferguson is offended by). It was enough for Ferguson to turn into an attack ad featuring activists reading scripted criticisms.

To promote the video, the Bob Ferguson For Governor campaign tweeted, “#BREAKING Video just surfaced of my Republican opponent Dave Reichert telling a group of Pierce County Republicans in February that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman.'” Despite it being a “breaking video” that “just surfaced,” Ferguson managed to have it included in a produced campaign ad with Democrat, Ferguson supporters offering their reactions. It was followed up by an email begging for donations.

If voters wanted to reply to the hit piece, they couldn’t. Ferguson turned off replies on his two posts around the smear.

More from Jason Rantz: After pushing to decriminalize, Bob Ferguson says he wants to tackle drug OD crisis

Why did Bob Ferguson turn off replies to his social media?

The decision to stop direct replies isn’t merely about silencing criticism. It’s likely also about stopping people from asking follow-ups that he will refuse to answer directly.

For example, does Ferguson have similar objections to devout Muslims espousing their exact same position on marriage? Reichert wasn’t taking a policy position, but a religious one. As Ferguson knows, same-sex marriage is not under threat in Washington and neither the governor nor the legislature can change that. Same-sex marriage is a federally protected, constitutional right.

A religious position is not the same as a political one (Reichert does not oppose same-sex marriage rights). If Ferguson offers his thoughts on Muslims’ views of same-sex marriage, it might even lead to a question about Israel vs Hamas, something Ferguson is deathly afraid of answering.

Another related set of questions Ferguson hopes to avoid bringing too much attention to is whether or not he joins his party in support of minors receiving so-called gender-affirming care without parental consent, biological boys competing against biological girls in high school and collegiate sports leagues, and whether or not he can even define a woman. Despite claims from the Radical Left, Americans of all political positions oppose healthcare sans parental consent on minors and biological boys competing against girls. They also can define women without saying, “someone who identifies as a woman.” Unlike Ferguson, there’s not a general appetite to erase women.

More from Jason Rantz: Bob Ferguson’s political crusade against cops keeps failing

The campaign leaned on friendly media, got a little burned

Feeling in trouble, Ferguson is leaning on his allies in the media earlier than he likely expected.

The Stranger didn’t need to be prodded and jumped on the Reichert smear. But it didn’t quite go the way Ferguson had hoped. They bizarrely framed the comments as Reichert “erasing” transgender people. But it’s actually Ferguson who did that.

Reichert spoke directly about the issue, The Stranger just happens to disagree with his position. He’s not saying trans people don’t exist, he’s saying there are biological realities that matter when it comes to competing in sports. Ideology doesn’t trump biological reality. Ferguson, however, literally edited trans issues completely out of the video. It’s why Ferguson was criticized by Stranger reporter Hannah Krieg. She called Ferguson ignoring transgender issues “gross,” implying he was unwilling to stand up for trans people.

The campaign clean up

The campaign subsequently came out with a statement claiming Reichert “denies their [transgender people’s] existence.” It’s an odd position because, between the two, it was Reichert who was specifically talking about transgender people (not “denying their existence”) whereas Ferguson focused on an issue that isn’t even being debated or discussed. Krieg responded to the Ferguson statement, saying that the gubernatorial wannabe “told us exactly how far his allyship goes. Not very!!”

The Bob Ferguson for governor campaign was, however, able to work with The Seattle Times for favorable coverage. Indeed, the left-wing paper promoted the campaign ad under the guise of news reporting.

Reporter Claire Withycombe had the full, nearly one-hour-long video where the Reichert comments were made. Still, The Seattle Times-embedded video of the Ferguson campaign ad, not the video with context. Ferguson even posted the edited video without the campaign commentary yet The Seattle Times chose to offer the in-kind donation.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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