Aftab Pureval Claims to Have Run ‘Positive’ Campaign But Steve Chabot Calls Him Out

Democrat Aftab Pureval said in his first congressional debate Tuesday night that he’s “run a positive, optimistic campaign.”

“Unfortunately my opponent disagrees; he’s committed to a campaign of smears and outright lies,” Pureval said of his opponent, incumbent Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH-1). “We have to ask ourselves why?”

But that claim is itself a negative, false attack, Chabot said during the debate hosted by WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.

Chabot ticked off a series of attack ads by Pureval, implying that his opponent must have a strange idea of the word “positive.”

Pureval went “negative” from the day he announced his candidacy on Jan. 31 for Ohio’s first congressional district seat — a seat held by Chabot for 11 terms. The attacks have not subsided, Chabot said.

Here’s how Chabot responded to Pureval’s claim:

This gentleman says he’s running a positive campaign and then he attacks me time after time after time. They started off attacking me for not doing town halls. We switched over to telephone town halls years ago because more folks can participate and it’s cheaper, and they don’t even have to drive anywhere. Then he attacked me falsely on pre-existing conditions. You attack me for voting six times to increase our [congressional] pay, and that’s an absolutely lie. I’ve voted against it every time. They say I travel. I’m on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Don’t you want us to do our job? It’s our responsibility to do that. There’s not a week that goes by I don’t have someone in my office from [some other country]…so it’s lie after lie after lie.”

Pureval said Chabot “has nothing to show” for his 22-year career in Congress.

“This man doesn’t even know what he’s talking about,” Chabot responded.

Chabot cited a University of Virginia survey showing the opposite of what Pureval alleges in his relentless attacks.

“The University of Virginia has studied the most effective members of Congress and they found me to be the seventh most effective member and if all the charges of my opponent were true that wouldn’t be the case,” he said.

Pureval would not let the issue rest. He chastised Chabot for the Cincinnati area’s failing infrastructure, especially the Brent-Spence Bridge, which he said was “raining concrete.”

“My opponent says we not looking at these [infrastructure] things but it’s just not true,” Chabot said. “Maybe if he’d moved into the district prior to the day before he announced he was running he’d know more. He can say I’ve not done anything in 22 years but it’s just not true. It’s just him repeating the Democrat talking points that he gets from the party. They use the same talking points all over the country. There is a pot of money there ready to go for the Brent-Spence but the local leaders have to decide how to use it.”

Chabot never brought up the issue of Pureval’s alleged corrupt campaign spending, which is under investigation by  the Ohio Elections Commission.

But Pureval stayed in attack mode all night long.

“Steve Chabot has had his chance,” he said. “He’s been in office 22 years. And what’s worse is he’s wrong on the big issues we face, the economy, healthcare, etc., he’s more of the same and we’re offering something better.”

He never explained what that “something” was.

Pureval sides with Kavanaugh accuser

Earlier in the debate, Pureval sided with Christine Blasey Ford on the issue of whether Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a sexual predator who should not be on the court, or whether he is a stand-up gentleman with the highest integrity. This basically came down to one’s word against the other, since zero evidence was produced that Kavanaugh ever had any involvement in any assault on the California professor 36 years ago.

Pureval unequivocally took Ford’s side, not giving any benefit of the doubt to the man accused.

“I agree with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (the one Republican who voted against Kavanaugh),” Pureval said. “The Kavanaugh nomination works to undermine our Supreme Court. And the confirmation frankly makes people uneasy who think the court should be objective, but what I’ve seen in the ‘me too’ movement is women coming forward and bravely speaking their truth, and it’s been incredibly inspiring, but I fear the nomination will lead them to not come forward in the future because they feel they won’t be believed.”

Chabot did not come down on one side or the other as to who he believed.

“There’s no place for sexual assault or exploitation in our society, ever, and I think it was very disappointing to a lot of Americans to see the nomination process play out the way it did,” he said. “I think there were a lot of things that could have brought Americans together instead of what we saw. The staff of Senator Diane Feinstein did a great disservice by not bringing the information forward in a timely fashion. To be honest with you I found both of them to be very credible people, and to be frank we will probably never know for sure [which is telling the truth]. If brought forward in a more timely fashion we could have probably got to the truth of it, but now we never will.”

Chabot then shared some inside information that Democrats, if they win back control of the House, will not let Kavanaugh or his family rest. They will go after him again.

“Mr. Jerry Nadler, the congressman from New York, is a friend of mine. He’s pretty liberal,” Chabot said. “He indicated that if the Democrats take over the House this year they will take up investigating this matter all over again. And that will do a great disservice to everyone in our country.”

Pureval said he’s the candidate for women, then accused Chabot of voting against the Violence Against Women Act.

Chabot said that’s just another example of the deceptive tactics Pureval has used to smear him.

“My opponent said something very misleading: that I voted against the Violence Against Women Act. I voted ten times for it,” Chabot said. “Then the Democrats decided to play games.”

He said when the bill went to the Senate the Democrats added all sorts of unrelated provisions to benefit illegal immigrants and others.

“So the conservatives voted against it, not because we were against the Violence Against Women Act,” Chabot said. Pureval knows this, but he continues to play dishonest politics.

Mandi Merritt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said the contrast couldn’t be clearer for voters in November.

Steve Chabot has a proven record of getting results for Ohio and will continue our state’s remarkable economic success of higher wages, lower taxes, and increased prosperity.  Aftab Pureval, on the other hand, has nothing to offer Ohioans but failed leadership, a scandal-plagued past and a phony politician’s smile.”

Watch the debate:

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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.










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  1. […] Violence Against Women Act. I voted 10 times for it. Then the Democrats decided to play games,” Chabot said, complaining that “the Senate added a whole bunch of illegal immigrants to be […]