Washington, June 8 – The newest ad by Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton superPAC, puts disability front and center in swing states.
As Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee with her wins on Tuesday, Priorities USA is attacking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s character.
Featuring the Chris and Lauren Glaros of Columbus, Ohio, the ad “Grace” interviews the parents about the upbringing of their child Grace, who was born with spina bifida. After describing the joy Grace brings to her family, the parents say that once they witnessed Trump mocking a person with a disability in one of his speeches, they could not support him.
“It showed me his soul,” Mr. Glaros said. “It showed me his heart. And I didn’t like what I saw.”
Trump was seen as mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski during a speech he gave in South Carolina in November. Trump denied any remarks stating that he was mocking Kovaleski and said he had never met the reporter during the primary election cycle. He also went on to say that that the gesture “merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out a statement he made long ago.” The statement in question concerns an article Kovaleski wrote in September 2001, which Trump incorrectly used to legitimize his claims of people cheering during the fall of World Trade Center during the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“The children at Grace’s school all know never to mock her, and so for an adult to mock someone with a disability is shocking,” Mrs. Glaros said in response to the incident.
The ad is set to start airing today in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire.
It is one of the first to be released promoting Clinton following her June 7th speech after clinching the nomination and June 3rd speech in San Diego in which she touted numerous reasons she finds Trump unsuitable and unqualified for the presidency. Of the reasons stated, Clinton said, “it also matters when he makes fun of disabled people, calls women pigs, proposes banning an entire religion from our country, or plays coy with white supremacists.”
While the disability community is the largest minority in America, a lot of the community’s agenda has not been met in a similar way where other minorities and other interest groups have been able to reach some attainable goals. So it is very important that Clinton consistently does include the disability community in her speeches and rallies.
Both Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has said he is continuing to fight for the Democratic nomination through the convention, are working to change the negative stigma surrounding people with disabilities. They have responded to and fully answered all 16 questions on the #PwDsVote presidential disability questionnaire. Meanwhile, there has been no response from Trump or his team to repeated requests regarding the questionnaire (although it must be noted that several Republican candidates who have since left the race did respond). Additionally, Trump’s website’s issues section does not mention people with disabilities like many other candidates, including Clinton and Sanders, do.
Twenty percent of Americans have a disability. More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one has a disability, and for Republicans, a smaller number of 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes.
RespectAbility president and CEO Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said, “As the presidential candidates look on to the general election, reaching out to the disability community can mean the difference between winning or not. Swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs — and the actions that campaigns take to reach out to these voters can make the difference between winning and losing.”