RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A campaign ad that has been getting a growing amount of attention lately appears to include a high-tech attack on Republican Congressional candidate Bo Hines.

With North Carolina’s primary elections Tuesday, the ad from the Old North PAC deserves a closer look.

THE CLAIM: The 30-second ad quotes Hines as saying he is “a lot more liberal on social issues” and extrapolates it to his stances on other issues including abortion and the Second Amendment.


THE FACTS: The quotes were taken from a story published Aug. 14, 2017, by the Hartford Courant. Headlined “Yale Receiver Hines Finally Healthy,” and focused mostly on his football career, the quote in question can be found in the 19th paragraph of the story.

When describing his political ambitions at the time, Hines — then two weeks shy of his 22nd birthday — said: “I’d run as a republican, but I’m not a social conservative. I call myself a social libertarian, I guess. I’m a lot more liberal on certain social issues. I think it’s part of our generation. I’m hoping the Republican Party in the future will not be so bogged down by the 80-year-olds sitting in congress who want to regulate how people live their lives.”

No one disputes that the partial quote is accurate. But what does Hines mean by “certain social issues?”

“He was referring to some issues that, you know, I think Republicans and Democrats can agree aren’t conservative or liberal,” said Rob Burgess, a spokesman for the Hines campaign. “Everybody deserves clean air and clean water, for example, right?”

Burgess says the ad distorts Hines’ stances on abortion, saying he and his wife organized anti-abortion marches when they were in high school.

“So the issue of life is extremely important to them, and nobody has better social conservative credential developments,” Burgess said.

There’s another aspect of the ad worth exploring. The quote was found in a newspaper and there is no known audio or video recording of that interview.

But the ad shows someone purported to be Hines saying those words.

“The technology that they use to make it appear as if Mr. Hines is actually moving his mouth in a still photograph with altered audio from a voice actor, and they’re portraying it as Mr. Hines speaking those words themselves,” Burgess said. “That’s entirely inaccurate, it’s falsified, and it again has no place in our political system.”

There isn’t much public information about the Old North PAC, which was formed less than a month ago. Its website appears to exist only to raise funds.

Paperwork filed with the Federal Election Committee shows a Texas man named Les Williamson listed as its treasurer and the lone point of contact. Williamson did not return emails and phone calls from CBS 17 News seeking comment and explanation.