Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has joined the class of Republican officials and candidates who shoot and blow up inanimate objects in ads or videos to illustrate what policies they’re against.
In a video Bevin posted on Twitter Sunday, he’s seen shooting and throwing grenades at political institutions he sees as corrupt, like “red tape,” “corruption,” “pay-to-play” politics and “inside deals.” He also throws a grenade at his hashtag #WeAreKY for unknown reasons.
From the beginning, we've made it clear…We won't stand for the way things have "always been done."
— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) October 14, 2018
While Bevin is not up for reelection until 2019, the use of guns and explosives to make political points is not a new tactic for Republican candidates, as TPM has noted.
The strategy has erupted during this campaign cycle. For example, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who’s stalled 53,000 voter registrations in his state, released a campaign ad with a similar message in May before the primaries. Kemp also aimed a gun at a teenager in another campaign ad.
“I’m so conservative, I blow up government spending,” he said.
The campaign for Catherine Templeton, a Republican primary candidate in South Carolina’s governor race, released a video in May showing the candidate shooting a snake that represented big government. While several Democratic candidates during the primaries released videos of them destroying guns, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a red state Democrat who is endorsed by the National Riffle Association, has seized on the conservative trend.
In an advertisement released in September, Manchin shot an Obamacare lawsuit with a rifle.