GOP congressman tells incarcerated woman he has it worse because of attack ads

Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) told a woman in prison, "You think YOU'RE having a hard time?"

Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) with Donald Trump
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) with Donald Trump in 2015. CREDIT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), who is locked in a toss-up re-election race against Democrat Abigail Spanberger, met with members of an addiction support group during a recent visit to the Chesterfield County Jail. When an inmate expressed concerns about the challenges she’d face upon release, the far-right Freedom Caucus member responded that he has it even worse, as he is facing negative campaign ads.

Brat told the woman, “You think you’re having a hard time. I’ve got $5 million worth of negative ads going at me. How do you think I’m feeling?”

“Nothing’s easy for anyone. You think I’m a congressman. Oh life’s easy, this guy’s off having steaks…” he lectured. “No one out there’s got some easy life. And you’ve got it hard, I’m not dismissing that. You’ve got some fears, real anxiety coming up with a job, and whatever.  And what you’ve got to find is a support system.”


Spanberger responded to Brat’s comments on Wednesday, tweeting that it is “absolutely shameful” for him “to compare the hardship of addiction and the struggles of recovery to his campaign.”