Downticket Republican candidates threaten libel suits over TV spots tying them to Trump

Five Republican Congressional candidates — Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) — have threatened broadcasters with libel suits over Democratic campaign ads that tie the men to their own party's presidential candidate, millionaire Donald J Trump.

Mike Coffman — a birther — said that one political spot's claim that "Coffman said he'd support Trump for president" was "false and defamatory." Fitzpatrick takes issue with the claim that he "supports Donald Trump and his dangerous agenda for women" because he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, and says that being associated with his own party's presidential candidate creates "substantial and immediate harm to the campaign and Mr. Fitzpatrick's personal reputation."

The DCCC ties Coffman to Trump by showing him questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. (Coffman's lawyer takes issue with the ad's assertion that his client supports Trump, which is sourced to a February report in which Coffman said he'd support the eventual Republican nominee. Yet there's a lengthy record of Coffman criticizing Trump.)

Coffman, who sent two letters over two different ads, also takes issue with a second ad stating that "Coffman said he'd support Trump for president." Coffman's lawyer says that claim is "false and defamatory," an indication of just how damaging supporting Trump can be in Coffman's Latino-heavy district.

Republicans Threaten Lawsuits Over TV Ads Linking Them To Donald Trump
[Matt Fuller/Huffington Post]

(via Wil Wheaton)