A new ad touting Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson's opposition to President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran features a photoshopped image of President Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as well as a still from a propaganda video produced by ISIS.
The ad, which is running in the Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay markets, was created by Restoration PAC, a group based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
"Some of our leaders, like Ron Johnson, understand that preventing Iran from getting the bomb is essential to our safety," warns the ad. "Others, like President Obama, insist on signing a toothless agreement that makes us less safe."
The ad's background images include a shot from an ISIS-produced video, footage of a smoldering World Trade Center, and an image of the president shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Obama and Rouhani have never met, however. The photograph was created from a image of Obama meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan in 2011.
When asked for comment, Restoration PAC spokesman Dan Curry told BuzzFeed News, "I don't know what you're talking about. You're saying that's a photoshop — can you explain what you're talking about?"
When Curry was told that Obama and Rouhani have never met, Curry said he would "take a look at that."
Asked about the ad's use of ISIS-related imagery, however, Curry said it was "nonsensical" that media companies can use the propaganda videos but not political campaigns.
"So you're saying that media companies can use ISIS, what you call propaganda imagery, but political campaigns can't use ISIS imagery, no matter what the message they're trying to portray?" asked Curry. "That just doesn't make sense to me, it's just nonsensical."
"The point is to show ISIS as bad people," Curry said. "It certainly isn't being used as propaganda for them, it's being used as propaganda against them."
In a press release, Restoration PAC said that that ad was produced by "award-winning ad-maker Rick Reed, who specializes in national security issues and whose Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad campaign was pivotal in re-electing George W. Bush President in 2004." The release also claims that "noted message expert Frank Luntz" also participated in the project.
Here's the ad:
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at email@example.com.
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