SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new political attack ad unrolled by the Kristi Noem campaign seeks to envision a hypothetical first day of a Jamie Smith governorship, complete with its own version of the candidate himself.
“Imagine what I could do on my first day as governor,” begins the commercial, narrated by an actor portraying Smith. “I, Jamie Smith, would get so much done.”
The ad then goes on to show this fictional Governor Smith signing orders to raise taxes, overturn Noem’s ban on transgender girls participating in women’s sports, mandate vaccines and take away everyone’s guns.
He won’t however, according to the ad, sign an order to stop undocumented immigration (it is not noted in the commercial how a governor of South Dakota, a non-border state, has control over federal U.S. border policy).
“Just imagine what more I can do,” the commercial ends.
Reacting to the commercial on Thursday afternoon, Smith began on a lighthearted note.
“They found a good looking guy to play me,” Smith said over the phone, “There’s no doubt about that — he looks a lot like me — the only problem is everything he’s saying is garbage.”
Smith went on to express his opposition to his portrayal in the commercial. “It’s not true, it’s not who I am, and it’s not how I lead,” he said. “They’re trying to use my affable personality in that commercial.”
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That attempt to capture his personality (and the ad did contain a visually convincing Smith) was somewhat complimentary to the candidate himself. “That’s a compliment to me right there, showing a guy that looks like a good guy, the problem is the message is completely a false narrative.”
The portrayal of Smith by the actor in the commercial seemed to impress even Smith himself. “I wonder how far they had to go to find this guy,” he mused. “I really would like to know who he is — I’d like to meet him,” he laughed “I’ve got a doppelganger out there, and they found him.”
Smith also laughed at the idea that he would have the power to effect such massive changes on day one.
“People have to remember, this is going to be the best check and balance we’ve had in a long time,” Smith said. “A Democratic governor and a Republican House of Representatives and Senate — they’re not going to raise taxes — we’re not going to do any of those things.”
Asked what the release of the ad says to him, Smith talked about the money that has poured into the race. “What this tells me is when you have millions and millions of dollars, you’re going to do everything you can,” he said. “It’s got to be a tight race, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in this last week.”
The ad clearly draws on the idea of Smith as governor immediately signing a flurry of executive orders upon taking office. We asked him if this would be the case.
“Upon taking office, we will make sure that we do the job to help all the people in the state of South Dakota, and if that needs an executive order to do that, we’ll do that — like a tax cut, for example, on food,” Smith said, referencing the idea of reducing or repealing the sales tax on grocery items, which he has advocated for several years, and which Noem recently said she too now supports.