Republicans Claim Robertson "Fat Shaming" Reed with New Ad

(18 News) – Martha Robertson’s first television ad of the election season has raised some controversy. Republicans have cried foul over Robertson’s use of older pictures of Congressman Tom Reed from before he got gastric bypass surgery.

Since the surgery, Reed has dropped more than 100 pounds.

18 News Political Analyst Dr. Stephen Coleman said he feels this is all part of the political game. “There’s a lot of folks who have gotten that surgery for health reasons and I think they're going to identify with Tom Reed, and say this is outrageous, this is an outrageous depiction of Tom Reed when he was a lot heavier,” said Dr. Coleman. “The Robertson campaign is trying to make him look his worst, and that's just not right.”

When asked about claims that the Robertson campaign is only using older pictures of Congressman Reed, the campaign responded, saying, "Tom Reed is desperately trying to distract voters from the issues we raise in our ad – that he has voted to raise middle class taxes to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, to raise the Social Security retirement age and end the Medicare guarantee, and for policies that make it easier for corporations to ship jobs and profits overseas,” said campaign spokesman Seth Stein. “Why doesn’t Congressman Reed want to have a conversation about his record?”

Congressman Reed himself responded to the ad, saying, “We’ve seen political candidates use photos of their opponent that may not be the most flattering, but in this case my opponent Martha Robertson is using pictures that specifically exploit an actual condition that millions of Americans struggle with every day - that is not something you usually see in political ads. I think most people running for office, Republican or Democrat, have good enough judgment not to attack people for physical conditions and hopefully my opponent is just an exception to the rule.”

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