Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Lewis Once Called Lawsuits Against Tobacco Companies ‘Legal Lynching’

Lewis Siding with Tobacco Companies is Part of Long History Discounting Public Health Experts and Public Safety

ST. PAUL [10/16/20]–Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis opposed holding tobacco companies accountable for their unlawful actions, which is just another example of how he cannot be trusted to protect Minnesota’s public health. Amid this pandemic, Minnesotans should have the assurance that their elected leaders will stand up for public health, listen to medical experts, and do what is best for families. Lewis’ record proves he is incapable of doing so.

In 1998, Lewis wrote an op-ed in the Star Tribune, in which he compared tobacco lawsuits brought forward by the state of Minnesota to a “legal lynching,” and asked if we should give the tobacco executives “just a little due process before we hang them?” He also argued that cigarettes saved taxpayers’ money because smokers die before they have the option to go to a nursing home or collect a pension.

Also, when Lewis was co-host of the public affairs show Face-to-Face, he claimed that the “frivolous” lawsuits against Big Tobacco were “a byproduct of socialized medicine” and a “witch hunt” to “demonize” tobacco companies.

Lewis has been reckless about the health of Minnesotans. Now he has questioned the COVID-19 death toll, pushed conspiracy theories regarding the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine, claimed that children can’t transmit the virus, and dismissed COVID-19 as a “wintertime sickness.” Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Tina Smith has been fighting for health care protections and COVID-19 relief for all Minnesotans.

Lewis does not reflect Minnesota’s values. Instead, he spews division and continues to put Minnesotans health at risk. Minnesotans deserve a leader like Sen. Smith who reaches across the aisle to get things done for them. Her empathy and bipartisan track record proves she best represents the leader that voters want.

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