CONCORD – The 2nd Congressional District Republican primary just keeps getting hotter and hotter between Gary Lambert and Marilinda Garcia.
Wednesday, as Lambert’s camp disclosed to the New Hampshire Journal that it is about to begin a third television ad blasting Garcia – this time on the Affordable Care Act – Garcia’s campaign released a more than three-minute video of military veterans calling on Lambert to pull from the airwaves a previous ad that charges Garcia is in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Also the chairman of the Merrimack County Republican Committee, Bryan Gould, while staying neutral in the race, called on Lambert to pull the immigration ad.
Garcia has also called the immigration ad “lies” and one of her key supporters, former New Hampshire House speaker Bill O’Brien, on Sunday also called for the ad to be taken down. Lambert’s campaign rejected the demand.
And late Wednesday, Garcia’s campaign attorneys called on New Hampshire television stations to pull the new “Obamacare” ad. The Garcia campaign said it “intentionally misrepresents Marilinda’s record by misusing information that clearly demonstrates Marilinda opposes ObamaCare and would work to dismantle the law if elected to Congress.” Here is the cease and desist letter.
Lambert served in the U.S. Marines and Marine Reserves for about 35 years, recently retiring as a Colonel. He said that Garcia, by calling him a liar and by having her supporters do so, shows that she cannot defend her record.
In the new Garcia-sponsored video, Bruce Marcus of Peterborough says, “It is beneath the dignity of a Marine officer to publish smear ads” against Garcia. Robert Silva of Milford says Lambert “is doing us all a disservice” and “that’s not the warrior code.”
“I hate to say it’s a disgrace to the Marine Corps to have a former Marine Corps veteran acting that way,” Silva says.
“I guess with you Gary, Semper Fi means ‘simply lies,’” says Richard Tidwell of Bedford, the only veteran in the video who does not reside in the 2nd District.
Also in the ad are James Dean of Northwood and George Nelson of Hudson.
Lambert rejected the suggestion that he is lying in his ads.
“I guess when you can’t defend your record, calling your opponent a liar and dishonorable is all you have left,” Lambert said. “Marilinda Garcia supported a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. Folks don’t have to take my word for it; they can read it for themselves in the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Resolution 2013-11. Representative Garcia also said repealing Obamacare was not a viable option. Again, folks can read it for themselves in the August 20th Keene Sentinel.”
“Facts are facts. Calling me a liar repeatedly doesn’t change the facts. Representative Garcia cannot run from her record no matter how many times she launches personal attacks on me.”
The Garcia video is below.
Also Wednesday Merrimack County Republican Chairman Bryan Gould also called on Lambert to take down the ad.
In a Facebook posting, Gould pointed out that as a county GOP chairman, he is neutral in the race.
But he wrote, “Being neutral, however, doesn’t mean that I will stand by while one Republican candidate spreads inflammatory falsehoods about another one. Criticism of votes made and positions taken — even harsh criticism — is fair game in a primary. But fabricating an opponent’s positions and conduct is beyond the pale because it exalts individual ambition above integrity and the party’s overriding objective of defeating Democrats. That is particularly true when the dishonesty is designed to use an opponent’s ethnicity to inflame prospective voters.”
“Having gotten to know Gary Lambert over the past few months, I am surprised that he would stoop to such tactics to smear another Republican,” Gould wrote. “He has run in large part on his lengthy career as a Marine. The Corps’ core values are ‘honor, courage and commitment.’ Those of us who know Marines know there is a reason that ‘honor’ is the first attribute listed. “Where is the honor in lying about another Republican to obtain the party’s nomination?” Gould wrote.
Gould told the New Hampshire Journal Wednesday that he, former state GOP chair Fergus Cullen (who founded Americans By Choice, on whose board Garcia served), and Rep. Donald LeBrun, R-Nashua, will issue a statement on Thursday morning addressing the ads.
(An earlier version of this story reported that the three would hold a news conference, but Gould said it was cancelled in favor of issuing a statement.)