I'm Ted Budd and I approve this lie

Published October 20, 2022

By Thomas Mills


When Ted Budd said, “I’m Ted Budd and I approve this message” before his latest attack on Cheri Beasley, he admitted that he’s a liar. There’s virtually nothing true in the ad. I guess that’s not surprising coming from a guy who also spread the Big Lie after the 2020 election. It’s on brand for the modern Republican Party.

From beginning to end, the ad makes up stuff from whole cloth. It begins saying that Cheri Beasley set free a child rapist. In fact, the guy was in jail until September of this year, more  than three years after the decision.  It goes on to say that Beasley “struck down a bipartisan law” but that didn’t happen, either. The case concerned whether or not the state can monitor someone based on past behavior, even if they have served their sentence. Beasley just sided with the majority on the Supreme Court in upholding the ruling of the Court of Appeals. The person that Budd says is out stalking people again is on probation and still subject to monitoring. In other words, his whole ad is a lie. 

But let’s get serious about what the ad is meant to do. It’s a softer version of the Willie Horton ad. It’s an emotional appeal, scaring White people by insinuating Cheri Beasley is unleashing dangerous Black men at a time when crime is an increasing concern. Budd and the GOP’s closing argument is that Beasley sides with sex offenders. It’s not true, most people know it, but it plays on racial fears that are, unfortunately, still alive and well in parts of North Carolina.

Political ads have long been based on exaggeration, hyperbole, and distortions, but Budd’s ad is just not true. The television stations pulled an earlier version of it when a third party tried to make the same accusations. Budd, though, is essentially proudly lying when he approved that ad.

Really, the ad tells us a lot about Budd. He’s another go-along, get along Republican who will say anything for power. He voted against certifying the election when he was running in the GOP primary. Then he told the AP in September 2021 that Biden won and was legitimate, but a month before the primary election, his campaign said he “had grave concerns about the elections process in 2020.” He’s not going to stand up to the authoritarians in his party. He’s not going to speak up Donald Trump incites a crowd to shout the N-word. He’s not going to do anything upsets the GOP status quo. Again, he’ll say whatever he believes his audience wants to hear.

There’s nothing independent about Ted Budd. He’s just another mediocre politician, stoking division and doing what he’s told. What a coward.