Because of America’s inability to contain the coronavirus, many countries have closed their doors to U.S. travelers. But East Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert isn’t your average American; he could probably wield his influence to coax some nation to take him in.
It could be wishful thinking, but maybe Gohmert would be down to take a permanent vacation, as an advertisement by his Democratic opponent, Hank Gilbert, politely suggests. After all, working tirelessly to be Texas’ greatest embarrassment (Ted Cruz aside) has got to be pretty exhausting.
The Observer hasn’t been kind to Gohmert in the past, but hey, the guy earned it. We’d be remiss not to point out that he caught the coronavirus after repeatedly refusing to wear a face mask. Oh yeah, and that he recently voted against a House resolution affirming a peaceful transfer of power following Election Day, according to The Hill. Then there was his recent vote against a federal anti-lynching bill. Gohmert's was one of only for votes against the bill in the House.
But the news here today is the commercial — or rather that a Democratic opponent is spending big money in what is generally a safe seat for Republicans, or at least for Gohmert. He took the once solidly Democratic district in 2004 after some deft redistricting by the GOP and has essentially walked through every election since, running twice without a Democratic opponent.
Aired Monday with network commercials, Gilbert’s ad buy cost more than previous Gohmert opponents have raised during their entire campaign, said Gilbert campaign spokesman Vince Leibowitz. Gilbert is spending $50,000 per week on the ad, which slams Gohmert for taking expensive trips abroad.
Rather than working hard for his constituents, the ad claims that Gohmert is hardly working. Instead, he’s been enjoying his time “jet-setting around the world.”
“If Louie Gohmert would rather take a vacation than work for us, let’s just send him to early retirement,” the ad’s narrator says.
The ad claims that lobbyists paid for Gohmert to breakfast in Ukraine, and that special interest groups footed the bill for him to travel to Jerusalem and Cairo. It also claims Gohmert attended junkets in Hollywood, London and New York City instead of focusing on protecting his constituents’ health care.
Gilbert also called out Gohmert’s abysmal voting track record in an emailed statement.
“While Louie was fooling around in the Ukraine, Cairo and London, and voting against protecting pre-existing conditions more than 60 times, four rural hospitals in his district were closed, and thousands remain without access to affordable healthcare,” Gilbert wrote. “He cares more about being a tourist than caring for his constituents.”
Gilbert is a Tyler-based rancher and a small businessman whose campaign has raised nearly half a million dollars to date, according to the statement. His campaign has been spending around $23,000 per week on "targeted digital advertising to persuadable voters,” including on popular TV streaming service Hulu.
Leibowitz also condemned Gohmert for putting himself before his constituents.
“It’s clear to East Texas voters that Louie is about Louie, first and last, and nobody else,” Leibowitz said.
Gohmert has also disregarded American intelligence agencies’ findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. It was actually Ukraine, according to Gohmert.
Too bad the U.S. State Department says that the former Soviet Union isn’t accepting American tourists right now.