Bilbray's campaign digs hole deeper after "Ralston Reports" appearance

Less than 24 hours after her appearance on "Ralston Reports," congressional hopeful Erin Bilbray had her campaign manager issue a series of "clarifications" to "set the record straight."

It's hard to straighten a record on videotape, however. And Bilbray, who may have thought better of some of what she said, must not have ever heard that old expression about discretion and valor. Or as a political adviser might say: Stop digging.

"Clarification" No. 1 -- Bilbray not only still won't acknowledge that there was nothing in that Joe Heck email that attacked women, she doubled and tripled down on it during the program and then this today from campaign manager Bradley Mayer:

"Heck's poor record on women's issues is well-know (sic).  But this race is about a lot more than just women's issues.  It's about the future of our country.  As someone who has worked tirelessly to help more women get involved in the political process, Erin's comments regarding Joe Heck's email pitch were to point out that this is the kind of rhetoric that discourages people, including women, from getting involved in the political process."

Including men? What? I remind you of what she said on the radio:

"I also took it as another kind of attack on women. I don’t think they really want women, family, small business owners to participate in politics."

That is as goofy and ridiculous as when she said it -- and defended it Wednesday night and Thursday. And it is indefensible and offensive.

"Clarification" No. 2 -- With a lot of Twitter blowback and the Sun's Andrew Doughman citing her use of the word "un-American" in his story, here's what Mayer had to say:

"The assertion that she called Joe Heck "un-american" (sic) is false. She said that discouraging people from getting involved in the political process is un-american."

This is just outrageous. You can watch what she said, but the actual statement on the program was:

"I mean, I'm a woman, there is no getting around it and I think he [Joe Heck] was wrong and I think it discourages people from participating in the political process and that is wrong and that is un-American."

So it's false that she said Heck is un-American? What she meant was that discouraging people from participating in the political process is un-American? Right after she accused Heck of...discouraging people from participating in the political process?

This is unsustainable. Even if you buy she wasn't affixing that label to Heck, the transitive property defeats her argument.

"Clarification" No. 3 - After Bilbray said immigration was a huge issue and that Heck didn't support a path to citizenship, I played video of a congressional town hall in which he said he did.

But this is what we got today from Mayer:

"When she said Joe Heck doesn't support a pathway to citizenship, she clarified it by saying that Joe Heck does not support the bipartisan Senate compromise that House Republican's (sic) refuse to bring up, which includes a reasonable pathway to citizenship. Heck also voted against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  In doing so, he essentially voted to deport thousands of "Dreamers", the children of undocumented immigrants who are here through no fault of their own. Every time he has been given the opportunity to support a reasonable pathway, he hasn't. She pointed out that he seems to be good at coming up with problems while offering no solutions and trying to have it both ways on everything."

This is not as egregious. But she is trying to correct a missed opportunity here by bringing up the deferred action vote (Heck says he thinks the president's executive order was wrong and that he should have come to Congress). But he consistently has said he supports most of the Senate bill and has even called it "reasonable," even though there are parts he does not like.
The congressman has never had a chance to vote on it, though. If Bilbray had called out Heck for not publicly urging House leaders to bring immigration reform to the floor or doing more than just talk about it, fine. But she didn't.
Doughman has "clarified" his story, too.

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