Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) is coming under fire for making a tone-deaf remark to a woman in jail who is battling a drug addiction.
Brat was visiting Chesterfield County Jail on Thursday to speak with incarcerated addicts when he found a strange way to relate to their struggles.
The woman told Brat about her fears about life after release from the system. That’s when the Republican lawmaker responded by telling her that his life is also difficult—because of the negative attack ads he faces.
“You think you’re having a hard time—I’ve got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me,” Brat is heard saying in audio captured by Ben Paviour, a reporter for Richmond’s NPR station. “How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody.”
“You think I’m a congressman, ‘Oh, life’s easy, this guy’s off having steaks every day.’” he continued. “Baloney. I’ve got a daughter, she’s got to deal with that crap on TV every day.”
“So it’s tough,” Brat went on. “No one out there’s got some easy life. Right?”
“And you’ve got it harder,” Brat later acknowledged. “I’m not dismissing that. You’ve got some fierce, real anxiety with coming up with a job or whatever. And what you’ve got to find is a support system.”
An odd moment from @DaveBratVA7th's visit to an addiction support group at Chesterfield County Jail: After an inmate describes some of the difficulties she'd face upon release, Brat says his life isn't all roses either, pointing to attack ads from @SpanbergerVA07 pic.twitter.com/uVDW4jsAhs
— Ben Paviour (@BPaves) October 18, 2018