Attack Ad Goes Low, Targets Republican with Cancer-Stricken Grandson


Pennsylvania Republican candidate for Senate Lou Barletta slammed his opponent, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, for an campaign ad apparently targeted toward Barletta’s cancer-stricken grandson.

Casey’s ad features a mother talking about her twin daughters who fell sick with cancer.

The woman in the ad said Barletta wants to take cancer treatment away from children.

“If Lou Barletta has his way, kids like mine could be denied the care they need,” the woman, identified in Pennsylvania media as Stacie Ritter of Manheim, Pennsylvania, said in the Casey-approved campaign ad.

That’s not really new in Democratic attacks on Republicans. They’ve been playing the health-care card since before Bill Clinton entered the White House and tried to let Hillary Clinton remake the American medical system.

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But as Barletta makes clear in his own advertisement, Casey’s ad is particularly low.

Barletta explains to the camera that his own grandhild, a twin, is being treated for cancer. And that he had told Casey about his himself a month ago.

“Bob Casey knew that my grandson, my 18-month-old grandson, who is a twin, has cancer,” Barletta said. “I told him and his wife a month ago.

“They knew what we were going through. They knew that he’s getting treatment right now.

“And to run a commercial showing twins with cancer and to say that I would deny my own grandson health care might be the lowest thing I have ever experienced in my entire political life,” he added.

Check it out here:

There is no way for Casey to defend the campaign ad. He knew what Barletta’s grandson is going through and he knows that he is getting treatment.

“He should take that commercial down and he should be ashamed of himself,” Barletta said.

Casey took the commercial down in the Scranton area, where Barletta is from, but it will still air in Pennsylvania’s other TV markets, according to the The Associated Press.

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That’s not good enough, Barletta responded.

“If (Bob Casey) thinks his disgusting attack ad against my family is too insensitive to run in our hometown, why is he continuing to run it across the state? Senator Casey has proven he will stoop to the lowest of lows for political gain,” Barletta wrote on Twitter in reaction to the news.

According to, the Casey campaign’s response is that the two-term senator has been talking about Ritter family for years — long before he knew Barletta would be his opponent in the Senate race.

Should Casey take the ad down?

Maybe so, but that doesn’t change the deeply personal impact the ad is having now.

Barletta is right. Casey has stooped to the lowest of the low, as the left usually does. Since Casey took down the campaign ad in one TV market, he must be aware that it’s insensitive and wrong.

If he had any sense of decency,  Casey should take the ad down completely.

But these days, “decency” and Democrat don’t go together very well.

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Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a background in history, education and philosophy. He has led multiple conservative groups and is dedicated to the principles of free speech, privacy and peace.
Malachi Bailey is a writer from Ohio with a passion for free speech, privacy and peace. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in History. While at Wooster, he served as the Treasurer for the Wooster Conservatives and the Vice President for the Young Americans for Liberty.
Topics of Expertise
Politics, History