Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, the Republican National Committee has taken a page from Lee Atwater’s book and launched an ad attacking Tim Kaine for being a defense attorney.
Richard Lee Whitley was convicted of murdering a 63 year-old neighbor in Fairfax County, while Lem Tuggle was found guilty of raping, sodomizing and murdering a 52-year old woman from Smyth County.
While numerous executions took place on Kaine’s watch as Virginia governor, he had come up as a defense attorney working to keep people convicted of capital offenses from facing the death penalty.
The RNC spot also references the commutation of the death sentence of convicted triple murderer Percy Levar Walton. In a statement released with the commutation, Kaine said that the commutation of Walton was due to lack of mental competence, despite court rulings indicating the sentence could be carried out.
“I am again compelled to find that one cannot reasonably conclude that Walton is fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it,” Kaine said. “Given the extended period of time over which Walton has exhibited this lack of mental competence, I must conclude that a commutation of his sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole is now the only constitutionally appropriate course of action.”
I’m not sure exactly what they think they’ll accomplish with this, besides playing straight to Trump’s white supremacist base. They’ve tried this before, and Kaine got elected anyway. It’s even less relevant in this election, where Kaine does not have the power to pardon anyone as VP.
In case the RNC missed the message on this, here’s Roger Stone on the subject of this style of ads.
Here’s Trump confidant @RogerJStoneJr saying the Willie Horton ad was “racist.” pic.twitter.com/anpV3hbsN6
— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) October 3, 2016
Good luck with that line of attack, you desperate idiots.