With less than a month remaining before the 2014 Midterm Elections, both political parties are ramping up the creepiness of their campaigns. When the public barely seems to care about midterm election—even though the Senate majority is at stake—doom-and-gloom tactics are a fallback in an ADD attention economy.
This year’s creepiest attack ads contain two out of the three elements: The implication that the candidate made it easier for terrorists to attack the US; examples of candidates putting their personal interests ahead of the middle class; and, of course, an edited clip of the person talking without any context whatsoever.
We’ve collected 10 of the creepiest political ads that aired thus far in the campaign season, and the messages the creators of these vids—paid for by opposition candidates and both parties—would like us to believe.
1. Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick Wants Terrorists to Cross the Arizona Border
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick represents Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which makes her an obvious target on issues like illegal immigration and border security. But who knew she was allowing ISIS and other terrorist groups to attack the United States through our neighbors in the South? Thank goodness the National Republican Congressional Committee is here to alert us.
2. Congressional Candidate Tom MacArthur Savors the Suffering of Disaster Victims
The ghost of Superstrom Sandy still looms large over the New Jersey 3rd District, which is where Republican Tom MacArthur hopes to represent in Congress. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used this to their advantage to portray MacArthur as a heartless millionaire feeding off the souls of flood victims.
3. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema supports the administration that let James Foley die.
While this video appears to be another fearmongering ad, it’s actually gone under a little post-production work to clean it up. Republican Wendy Rogers’ original attack on Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema featured clips from journalist James Foley’s execution by ISIS. The campaign removed the Foley video from the ad but kept most of it intact.
4. Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan Committed a Double Homicide
Alaskans for Sen. Mark Begich took a page from the George H.W. Bush 1988 campaign handbook with their own version of the infamous Willie Horton ad. In the video, Begich’s opponent Dan Sullivan is accused of letting sex offenders out of prison while serving as Attorney General. One of those released felons later went on to kill an elderly couple. One problem: The prisoners were released due to a clerical error prior to Sullivan’s tenure as Attorney General.
5. Congressman Dan Maffei Supports Criminals and Terrorists Roaming Our Streets
This ad is another one from the folks at the NRCC—a classic, really, hitting all the standard conservative fear buttons: Illegal immigrants are crossing the border! Terrorists are entering the U.S.! Soldiers are at risk!
6. Congressman Tom Cotton Loves Millionaires and Ebola, Hates Children
Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas used terrifying events in the news to attack his opponent. According to an ad, opponent Tom Cotton helped let Ebola spread in the United States, restricted babies’ access to healthcare, and put more money in the pockets of millionaires.
7. Senator Mark Udall Is Ignoring ISIS
As we’ve seen, ISIS is a major plot point in most Republican attack ads this campaign season. Perhaps no ad explicitly states (or, more fittingly, overstates) the threat this terrorist group poses to Americans than this NRCC video against Colorado Senator Mark Udall.
8. Also, Senator Mark Udall Can Be Blamed for Every Obama Failure
Sen. Udall couldn’t avoid the attack ads this fall. His opponent Allen Weh released this video combining clips of President Obama speaking with images of unrest in the Middle East. Udall barely comes up in the ad at all. And that picture of the terrorist holding the knife midway through the video? That’s James Foley’s killer.
9. A Vote for Congressman Rick Nolan is a Vote for Terrorism
The NRCC can’t get enough of the ISIS angle. In their ad attacking Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan, they add an extra flourish of headlines from serious media outlets—like Fox News and New York Daily News (oh my!)—warning about the impending terrorist threat.
10. Congressional Candidate Staci Appel Wants More Passports for Terrorists
This one’s pretty understandable. The NRCC found a clip of Iowa Democratic Congressional candidate Staci Appel saying she supports terrorists keeping their passports. Well, as long as you don’t notice that edit right in the middle of her quote.
Joseph Misulonas is an intern for Playboy.com. When not accusing his enemies of committing treason, he can be found tweeting at @jmisulonas.