'Furious' Cornett Says Campaign Ad Distorts Record, Damages Reputation
TULSA, Oklahoma - We’re just a couple of weeks away from the runoff election in the race for governor.
The runoff election is August 28, 2018. Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt are vying for the chance to go head-to-head against Democrat Drew Edmondson in November.
Days after the first negative attack ad was released in the race for Oklahoma governor, the other side is fighting back.
Monday, Cornett said Stitt supporters are trying to tarnish his track record. In an ad paid for by his campaign, Stitt says Cornett was against President Donald Trump and he also supported sanctuary cities.
“He [Stitt] has distorted my relationship with President Trump, whom I have met with on multiple occasions discussing policy, discussing issues that are important to Oklahoma. He has distorted my reputation and my stances on immigration,” Cornett said Monday.
The ad also quotes Cornett as saying a southern border wall would never work.
"I am understandably angry. I’m furious. He’s distorted my record. He has damaged my reputation. He is using half-truths to try and distort what we’ve done in Oklahoma City,” Cornett said.
In a statement, Stitt's campaign spokesperson says, "Kevin Stitt urged Cornett's base to keep this a clean race focused on each person's vision for the future of Oklahoma. Mick Cornett, down 10 points in the polls, did what career politicians always do, resorted to misleading and baseless personal attacks."
Last Friday, a Mick Cornett support group targeted rival Kevin Stitt's business. The ad says, “Stitt’s company? One of the worst loan default rates nationwide.”
Stitt’s campaigned issued a statement at the time saying, “Mick Cornett and his backers have decided they can’t win a positive campaign on the merits and instead have chosen to falsely and deliberately misrepresent my record as an Oklahoma job creator. Mayor Cornett should put an end to this negative campaign, pull these dishonest TV ads and commit to running a clean, transparent campaign.”
Cornett’s campaign responded with a statement saying, "This is not our campaign’s ad, but these allegations about Mr. Stitt are true. Is it true his business committed fraud? Yes. Is it true he’s been kicked out of multiple states? Yes. Is it true he bundled subprime loans? Yes. Did he take Obama’s TARP bailout money? Yes. Oklahomans need to know the truth."
Cornett says, “I have run on my record as a conservative in Oklahoma City who has been looking after the audit committee and making sure we are running an efficient government and he’s been running a business that has had very, a very shaky track record.”
“We’ve paid minor fractions in a couple states over the years and here’s the deal, I hold people accountable. If we find a mistake, we’re going to fix it,” said Stitt. “He’s trying to attack a business of success and somebody who’s been in the private sector growing jobs, and I just call on his campaign to stop this negative campaigning.”
You can watch Cornett's news conference below: