Kathleen Matthews Campaign Calls On David Trone To Pull Ad Featuring President Obama

While attending a fundraiser at Trone’s house in November, Obama suggested Democrats should run Trone for office


Updated at 11:40 a.m. - The campaign of 8th Congressional District candidate Kathleen Matthews says rival David Trone should pull a “misleading ad” in which President Obama suggests Trone should run for office with the backing of the Democratic Party.

The 43-second web ad, which Trone’s campaign published last week, includes footage of Obama at a November fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee that Trone hosted at his home in Potomac.

Trone, the multi-millionaire co-owner of Bethesda-based Total Wine & More, has been a big donor to the party.

“I was hearing about David and how when he was in school, he started a beer store,” Obama said at the fundraiser in the video featured in the ad. “And just kept on putting money back into the business and a few decades later, now is one of the largest, if not the largest wine retailers in the country, an example of American success. And then I was listening to him backstage and I thought, you know, we can run him for something.”

The words “Good idea” then appear in the ad.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker told The Washington Post that Obama’s remarks are not an endorsement of Trone, who entered the nine-candidate race just 11 days ago.

In a press release Tuesday, Matthews campaign manager Ethan Susseles said that “by continuing to run this ad, David is intentionally misleading the voters of the 8th district, and he should pull the spot immediately. David Trone knows the president isn’t endorsing him and he shouldn’t run an ad suggesting otherwise. You can’t spend enough money to get around the truth.”

Trone quickly spent $900,000 on an ad blitz upon entering the race. He has said he will use his wealth to self-fund his campaign.

A statement from the Trone campaign in response to the complaint said "the president's words speak for themselves."

"David is a longtime admirer and supporter of President Obama. He is honored and humbled by the exceedingly gracious comments our president made about him," the statement read. "The president’s words speak for themselves. David was the number one donor for the DNC in 2015. David and June were thrilled to host the president at their home with their family, friends, and our community’s leading Democrats."

Last week, Trone fired three campaign workers after Susseles revealed one of them had tried to infiltrate the Matthews campaign offices in Bethesda. Trone said later that day that after an investigation, he fired another worker who tried to infiltrate rival Jamie Raskin’s campaign and a supervisor.

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