Tolbert ad uses Obama miscue to attack Brown - The Buffalo News

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Tolbert ad uses Obama miscue to attack Brown

President Obama’s political slip of the tongue at his Thursday appearance at the University at Buffalo would soon be forgotten, right?

His accidental misidentification of Rep. Brian Higgins as mayor of Buffalo would never enter the race the real mayor – Byron W. Brown – is waging for re-election, right?

Nope. Not right.

In fact, the campaign of Democratic primary challenger Bernard A. Tolbert by Thursday evening had posted a Web ad jumping all over the presidential faux pas. And now it is taunting Brown on television.

“It’s OK, President Obama, we’d like to forget Byron Brown’s name too,” says the announcer on the newest Tolbert ad to hit the airwaves that features footage of the presidential miscue at UB.

The ad, labeled on YouTube as “Forgettable Byron Brown,” then launches into standard Tolbert criticisms of the mayor’s eight-year tenure. It says “it’s hard to forget” problems such as Buffalo’s negative national rankings for violent crime and poverty, as well as schools that are “failing miserably,” and then highlights the Tolbert plan to fix schools and create jobs.

The 30-second spot ends with this zinger: “So on Primary Day, Sept. 10, it’s OK to forget Byron Brown’s name – just remember Bernie Tolbert for mayor.”

Comments on YouTube record reaction as everything from “thumbs up; love it” to “very distasteful.”

Both campaigns emphasized their main themes when asked to react to the spot.

“It was a simple way of capturing an opportunity of a current event and getting our message out in a clever way,” said Tolbert spokeswoman Christina Abt. “It was designed to get people’s attention so they can hear about Brown’s Buffalo and know that there is a better choice on September 10th.”

The Brown campaign, meanwhile, for second time this week labeled the Tolbert effort “desperate” and “reckless.”

“The fact that desperate candidate Bernie Tolbert is portraying the president in a negative tone proves that he is out of touch and running a negative, reckless campaign with no ideas or solutions for Buffalo,” the Brown campaign said.


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