Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) is running in the Oklahoma GOP primary for U.S. Senate. To win, he’s taking aim at transgender people, and using his own kids in the process.
Mullin’s Senate campaign has been running a TV ad that features him bringing forth his two children, one male, the other female, with a montage of transgender competitive swimmer Lia Thomas in the background.
Set in what appears to be a concrete gym, Mullin starts off the ad alone, saying: “Democrats can’t even tell us what a woman is. Well, let me help ’em with that.”
From there, his two children enter into the frame – his daughter, and his son.
“This is Larra, my daughter. This is Jayce, my son,” Mullin says, with both children labeled as being Oklahoma wrestling champions.
“It’s not that hard,” Mullin adds. “Liberals think that boys should be competing against girls in sports.”
From there, a montage of news coverage about collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas begins to run, as Mullin’s voice rises in anger and he approaches, gesturing at the camera.
“That’s pure insanity,” he adds. “I’ll be fighting in the Senate to stop this nonsense. I’m Markwayne Mullin and I approve this message, because our girls can compete with anyone, on a level playing field.”
It’s a more visceral take on a theme that the GOP has exploited in the run-up to the 2022 midterms: attacks on trans rights.
A Mullin spokesperson did not return TPM’s request for comment. But the choice to involve his own children in the anti-trans campaign speaks to how personal the party is making the issue: it’s not an abstract policy concern, it’s about your children, and Markwayne Mullin’s.
Mullin himself is no outsider.
A sitting member of Congress who has bucked the narrative of the MAGA right on Jan. 6, in part because he witnessed the shooting of Ashli Babbitt, Mullin is, according to some polling, the frontrunner in a hotly contested primary to be the GOP nominee running to replace retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). He’s made traditional values an emphasis of his campaign, to that end.
Watch below to see how that manifests itself: