‘Disgruntled Trump voter’ featured in ad is a fake; he never voted for him. Calls to remove ad escalate.

A Pennsylvania man with buyer’s remorse over his 2016 vote for President Trump never actually voted that year.

The Erie County man, featured in a video created by a Democrat-supporting political action committee, expressed his regret over voting for Trump and was even featured in stories by The New York Times focused on dissatisfied Trump voters in key swing states.

(Video: YouTube/American Bridge)

But Mark Graham never even cast a vote in 2016, according to Penn Live.

“I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because I thought he would make a change,” Graham said in the video created by America Bridge which began running in the Erie area in November.

Asked in the video if that change occurred, Graham said: “Not for the good.”

Later in the one-minute ad, Graham said the president “plays favorites for people like himself … He doesn’t understand life around here.”

But the video, which is part of a multi-million dollar American Bridge advertising campaign in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was scrutinized by local news organization JET 24 which discovered through the county voting records that Graham had not voted in 2016.

“You can’t believe everything that is said because its people looking for some fame and they lie,” Ann Grunewald, Vice-Chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee, told the news outlet after Graham’s false claim was exposed. “It’s like on Judge Judy everybody swears to tell the truth and they lie. Excuse me, stop it.”

(Video: Jet 24 News)

Graham explained his involvement in the anti-Trump ad during an interview with Erie News Now, recounting how a focus group he had participated in started the chain of events leading to the video.

During the discussions in the 2018 focus group, which was centered around Republicans supporting Democrat Ron DiNicola in his unsuccessful Congressional bid, Graham expressed that re-electing Trump would be like “throwing gasoline on a fire.”

“I just made it up. He said, ‘I like that.  I’m going to use that,” Graham said of the New York Times reporter who wanted to follow up with an anti-Trump story.

Graham was then featured in two stories in The Times about disgruntled Trump voters, leading to his being contacted by American Bridge which shot the video on Graham’s own property in Fairview Township.

After Graham’s voting record was exposed, The New York Times issued corrections to its articles clarifying that he had not even voted in the 2016 election. A similar video ad in Wisconsin appeared to have set off questions about credibility as well.

But Graham’s American Bridge video continues to be available, apparently unchanged, though comments have been disabled on the YouTube page. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania demanded the left-leaning super PAC take the video down and issue an apology.

“The ad is false, its premise is false and it’s messenger has been discredited,” state GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas said in a news release. “The organization could easily have determined that Graham had not voted in 2016 by checking the publicly available records at the Erie County elections office.”

Social media comments also called out the Democrat-supporting PAC for the ad and for refusing to take it down.


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Frieda Powers


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