Massie left Davis a message about controversial ad a day before it aired

04/02/2012 09:30 AM

UPDATED: Thomas Massie, the 4th Congressional District candidate, said he left a message on the personal cell phone of U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis telling him that his campaign would be airing an ad using one of the congressman’s floor speeches.

Massie produced a copy of his cell phone records for Pure Politics to review showing a two-minute call to Davis’ cell phone at 10:50 a.m. on Friday.

“I said, ‘Congressman, we have produced an ad that uses the CSPAN footage, and I just wanted to let you know,” Massie said Monday morning.

Massie offered the record of the phone call to “set the record straight” after Davis posted on his Facebook page that the Massie campaign used a clip of his floor speech “without my knowledge, my permission, or my consent,” as Pure Politics reported.

Davis hasn’t endorsed in the seven-candidate Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District. He took issue with Massie using a clip from his Nov. 29, 2010, floor speech in which he used Massie as an example of an entrepreneur who had an idea that was sidelined because of regulations. Davis said on his Facebook page that the 30-second clip Massie’s campaign used in the ad makes it seem like the congressman was endorsing Massie.

A spokesman for Davis was unavailable for comment Monday morning.

Massie wouldn’t say whether he and Davis have spoken since the commercial first aired in the Cincinnati market (for a cost of $7,000) during the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville’s Final Four game on Saturday.

“I don’t want to comment on that. I don’t want to escalate things,” Massie said.

As for whether the ad will air during tonight’s national championship game in which UK is playing Kansas, Massie was equally mum.

“That’s campaign strategy,” he said.

Later on Monday, Massie’s campaign issued a statement apologizing for any “misunderstandings” over the ad and saying that he is open to making changes to the spot to improve it. Here’s the full statement:

I apologize to Congressman Davis for any misunderstanding regarding the commercial my campaign ran during the Final Four game. The video and audio used in the commercial are from a public speech made by Congressman Davis in November 2010 on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Congressman’s speech to successfully promote the REINS act, I was flattered to discover that he leveraged the story of my background, education, invention, success, return to Kentucky, unique energy solution for our 4th district, and anticipated encounter with the regulatory structure. Speeches made by elected officials on the floor of the House are public domain and do not require a license or permission to rebroadcast. I was therefore proud to share the Congressman’s sincere and complimentary remarks of me in our first television commercial. To ensure that the Congressman’s remarks were not misconstrued as a political endorsement of my current candidacy, I was adamant that the date of the speech appear on the screen for the entire time Congressman Davis is seen giving the speech. Because the date of his remarks predate this congressional race, no endorsement is implied. In today’s political climate, where we endure countless negative ads, it is interesting that an ad conveying only kind words about one person from another could be considered inappropriate. I am open to making improvements to the commercial in an attempt to address the Congressman’s concerns.

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