Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who is running for Senate, released a campaign ad that features audio from the shooting at a baseball diamond in Virginia that left four wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
The 30-second ad titled “Second Amendment” labels the shooter, James Thomas Hodgkinson, as a “Bernie Sanders supporter” and points fingers at the “liberal media” for shifting the conversation toward the issue of gun control after the incident occurred.
In the ad, Brooks, who was at the scene and says he used his belt as a tourniquet on one of the wounded, is seen telling a reporter that he still has full faith in the Second Amendment in the shootings aftermath.
“The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms is to make sure we always have a Republic,” Brooks said in response to a reporter’s question. “So, no, I’m not changing my position on any of the rights that we enjoy as Americans.”
Lawmakers went out of their way to avoid politicizing the shooting in its immediate aftermath. Both Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered statements on the shooting and avoided weighing in on the politics of it, which was striking given the extreme political views of the shooter.
The ad has evoked a negative reaction from Scalise’s chief of staff, who weighed in on the ad on Twitter saying it “makes my stomach turn.”
Scalise is still being hospitalized as a result of the shooting. He underwent surgery on July 13 to treat an infection.