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Anti-Harold Ford Ad Draws Racism Charges

Posted on Oct 24, 2006
anti Harold Ford ad
From YouTube

This Republican Party ad, which features a white woman inviting Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.), who is black, to “call me,” is so loaded with racist overtones that even Ford’s opponent is distancing himself.

Read about it (below), or watch it:


L.A. Times:

WASHINGTON—A new Republican Party television ad featuring a scantily clad white woman winking and inviting a black candidate to “call me” is drawing charges of race-baiting, with critics saying it contradicts a landmark GOP statement last year that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters.

Critics said the ad, which is funded by the Republican National Committee and has aired since Friday, plays on fears of interracial relationships to scare some white voters in rural Tennessee to oppose Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. Ford is locked in a tight race, hoping to become the first African American senator since Reconstruction to represent a state in the former Confederacy.

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“It is a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African American men and white women,” said Hilary Shelton, head of the Washington office of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

A former Republican senator, William S. Cohen of Maine, was more blunt. Cohen, who was also Defense secretary under President Clinton, said on CNN that the ad was “a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment.”

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By trade show displays on sale, July 5, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

I had hoped that stories like this would be a thing of the past after the 2008 election, but it still seems that people will see what they want to see (whether it exists or not), and others will try to use this fact to their advantage. I really wish we could get beyond this, but I don’t know if that will happen in my lifetime… :(

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By Trade Show Displays, March 30, 2011 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

The problem with Americans is that they tend to blame everything on everything and everyone else, except for themselves of course; so, racism is bad (even though many prominent whites are), being gay is bad (because Jesus says so), the Canadians are bad (duh!) and mildly crude humor is bad (even though US is the largest porn industry in the world)… and so on and so forth. If we just treat each other with some real empathy, kindness and common sense, then we all can definitely get along and enjoy each other’s company in our short span of time of this planet.

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By Chuck Woolweaver, February 7, 2007 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is just one of many commercials depicting interracial relationships/sex that have started poping up.  I have read that many black men don’t like black women because they are mean, self-serving and trashy, and consider bedding a white women and badge of honor (I personally have heard a black guy accuse a white women of being a racist because because she wouldn’t go home with him. The attitude is, always play the race card when all else fails). Also, there are white women who will have sex with a black man because they consider it “dirty” and therfore exciting. Just as there are people with Ad agencies and corporate marketing departments (see prior statement) that simply show this for the shock value,

There is also an segement in our population that believe there should not be seperate races everyone should be the same color.

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By John Albertson, November 15, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bright White Light wrote:

> In order to find racism in this ad, you
> must youself, be a racist.

> Deny it all you want but it’s still the
> truth.

Ridiculous. Does a swastika spraypainted in a synagogue, or a cross burning in front of a black church, speak for those who are affected by these symbols? Do these symbols, in other words, automatically label the Jew or the African-American racist?

Of course not. They speak for the groups who put them there in the first place. Having the capacity to interpret what a symbol represents can never mysteriously “transform” the interpreter into the representation. Recognizing racism, or child abuse, or poverty, doesn’t make you racist, abuser, or poor.

As I said previously, I personally don’t see racism in the Anti-Ford commercial, but I can see how somebody might perceive it that way. That makes me empathetic toward their feelings, not that I want to string them up.

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By Brian, November 11, 2006 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I really wish the Civil War was never fought, since thousands died to free people who were forced to be slaves. Our country would had been much better off just to have let the South be their own country. I really don’t want people who believed in slavery and many in the South still do, to be part of my country, the US would be better off without ya good old boys who are so righteous, but have the highest divorce rates in the country along with a host of other crimes, love those stock cars but drive to the races in your Japanese vehicles since some black people might have had a part in makng a domestic one, yea the same companies which we would had never won WWII without. Please leave the union and become your own country again.
White Guy, Indiana

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By Carol E. Cox, November 10, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Think about this: Drop the ‘l’ out of Playboy and you have Payboy; drop the ‘l’ out of Playmate and you have Paymate. That’s the real truth behind Hefner’s empire; prostitutes and johns. Many of Hugh’s hookers are Bleached Brunettes using the name Blonde. 70% of all prostitutes are Bleached Brunettes using the name Blonde. Harold Ford was being harassed by a Bleached Brunette Paymate.

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By Bright White Light, November 9, 2006 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In order to find racism in this ad, you must youself, be a racist.

Deny it all you want but it’s still the truth.

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By Carol E. Cox, November 5, 2006 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am sick of the white racist and the black racist USE and ABUSE of Blonde people. No Blondes are ever involved in your reports about Blondes. They are always Bleached Brunettes who have ASSUMED the name Blonde and Bleached Brunettes are represented in both of your races; black race and white race. You both use the name Blonde for power, money, and hate.

Bleached white people and bleached black people are not Blonde. Blonde people are actively disassociating from all of you. Your porn is all Bleached Brunettes on Blacks and Bleached Brunettes on every dirrty thing imaginable.

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By Tsega Akilelu, November 4, 2006 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a black African that now lives in the US. I have lived in this country for 20 years. Very disappointed with some of the comments I’m reading. What is RACIST about this ad. Have Americans become to sensitive? I think this is pure white guilt and black sensitivity. People get over it. There is nothing racist about this ad. I’m not sure most people ever understand the meaning of racist.

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By 1212, November 4, 2006 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE AD IS UNQUESTIONABLY RACIST UNFORTUNATELY—

—The following previously posted comment sums it up well—

“I am a White, Middle aged man,,,,and I live in the South….I know racism when I see it and this AD is “PURE” Racist….

That “Good-Ole Boy” network of Wink wink,,,nod nod happens all the time in the South to this day.

We have Real Problems in America,,,and yet the RNC resorts to the Gutter to win a election…If their Record were so great,,,,Racist Ads wouldn’t be needed..

Shame on Republicans,,,Shame on BOb Corker,,,Shame on the RNC===America deserves better and once again,,,the Republicans show Americans they will do anything to Hold onto Power,,,even Smear and Trash,,,,,Hate and Racism rests directly on Republicans Shoulders…..”

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By Rex Karz, November 3, 2006 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People with Hammers for Heads only see the world as a bunch of nails.

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By bookbinder, November 2, 2006 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I watched the ad once - thought, “Big deal.”, then moved on to read the comments. Then I watched it again. I would encourage those who said it wasn’t rascist to look again…closer. The one African American actress states that looks are more important than issues (not very flattering for AA voters), everyone else is white including the shady looking “porn star” guy and a sterotypical “dumb blonde” creature running naked in the streets. While not stating it outright, the ad implies that only shady type people would be positive towards Ford - the porn star has “also taken money from porn makers” and the naked blonde wants a call back.

No, there were no KKK members featured, but is it too much of a stretch to see the implied message of a group of white people worrying about a black man robbing them blind? Just because it’s taxes in the daylight as opposed to mugging in the dark, the implication is the same.  If that wasn’t the intention, why not include a few Afican American individuals or couples in order to avoid a possible backlash?? If the ad is “fair and balanced”, why not represent multiple races?

As for the Estate tax couple; unless they’ve got more than $2 million to leave the children, the law won’t effect them anyways. Just another scare tactic from the pros.

As for the terrorist cells needing legal protection in Tennessee….Why should taxpaying, law abiding citizens of a certain racial group expect any sort of protection in the New America? Just because we house cop killers, rapists, murderers, etc in air conditioned/heated buildings where they have basic rights and cable tv - after having been proven guilty by a judicial system -why should “suspected” or “possible information carrying” individuals have any human rights? As a “Christian Nation”, of course we choose to house those of another religion in cages, outside, bound when we suspect they have information. Problem is, if they and their families didn’t hate us on the way in, they sure as heck will on the way out!

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By MH, November 2, 2006 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This ad just prays on the stupid, racist or otherwise!  Anyone in TN who votes against Ford because of this ad (although I’m sure they’ll never admit to it outside their own tiny minds) ought to be ashamed.  Bad acting and faulty arguments do not a political ad make! 

I read elsewhere on the net this ad was done by the same guy who did a 2002 ad against Max Cleland, a senator from Georgia.  In that ad, they morphed Osama bin Laden’s face into his and questioned Cleland’s patriotism.  Max Cleland stood up to that as best he could, but standing isn’t really Mr. Cleland’s strong suit since he had both his legs blown off in the Vietnam War along with his one arm…all while serving his country—you know, the country he’s not patriotic about!

I’m not from TN, and I don’t agree with Ford on some issues (the biggies in particular, i.e same sex marriages, the military commissions act, and that shameful bankruptcy bill), but I’m still rooting a lot for him.  He should win just on principle now.  THESE KINDS OF CRAP ADS SHOULD NOT WORK!!!! 

Folks in TN, you’ve got a chance to speak for many of us and say you don’t like these kinds of ads and what they represent.  I hope and pray you really THINK before you vote.  You are NOT just voting for a candidate anymore.  Good luck y’all!

PS…Thank you to “Diane Park” for writing a very insightful and perceptive entry to this string.  The internet needs more well formulated opinions like yours!

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By Bob Corker, November 1, 2006 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Racism?!  I thought Harold Ford, Jr. was white?  You mean he’s a high yella?  Well I’ll be damned.

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By KM, October 31, 2006 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My goodness but you dems are self-righteous! 

As a life-long southerner, I am always amazed at how non-southerners describe life in the South.  Let me assure you, interracial relationships are quite common.  No real shock value here.

I am interested to hear how the “race baiting” could have been avoided.  Had the bunny been black, you dems would then be screaming that the GOP was demeaning a black woman and insinuating she was loose and/or a hooker.

My point is, there is no getting it right with you people (read “you people” as self-righteous dems of any color, race, religion or creed).  However an ad accusing Ford of having taken money from the porn industry was depicted, you people would easily see racism at every turn.

Sometimes I just wish you people weren’t so doggoned predictable!

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By Bill, October 31, 2006 at 6:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s not racist in any way.

But it does appeal to racist fears of the black man/white woman taboo in a very slick way.

Let’s stick to dealing with the items mentioned: his politics. Maybe use the ‘call me’ part in a comedy sketch.

Let the [dirty] campaigning begin…

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By John Albertson, October 29, 2006 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The production value on 99% of the negative campaign ads currently being aired is utterly worthless. Usually, you get a 30 second bass note droning throughout the background, coupled with unflattering grainy B&W photos of the ad’s focus, and half-truths or out-and-out lies supposedly supported by flashes of newspaper headlines saying God knows what because they aren’t up there long enough for anybody to read them. A first semester video student could do a better job with some sock puppets, a pinhole camera, and a bottle of Grey Goose in his belly.

The departure from the norm is why I like both the anti-Harold Ford ad and the Michael J. Fox ads supporting pro- stem-cell research.

CALL ME

Let’s face it… the anti-Ford ad is slick. It’s a clear parody on the stereotypical values that Limbaugh lovers believe Democrats possess, which will definitely tug at the heartstrings of the hardcore Republicans- namely, Christian Conservatives and neo-cons. And no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, the humor is there. It’s a nice touch to what has been a fairly brutal election nationwide.

Personally, I don’t see any inherent racism within the anti-Ford ad, but I can definitely understand why people might complain about it. Mixed-race relationships are commonplace where I live (Las Vegas, NV), but I suppose in the Bible Belt such a thing might still be frowned upon, especially amongst those who lived prior to and during the Civil Rights era and may still carry beliefs no longer in vogue. If (and this is a big IF) the “Call me” portion of the ad was aimed at those people, the ad may succeed in getting them out to vote.

This to me is unethical, but with the DeLay, Foley and Abramoff scandals, along with declining support on the Iraq War, the Republicans are seriously hemorrhaging and I wouldn’t put it past them to pull something like this to maintain as many seats as possible in Congress. Then again, the timing of the Foley scandal was mighty convenient to have come so close to the election, even though it’s obvious senators from both parties knew about that 6 months ago… so I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats to air a similar ad sometime down the road when it suits them.

STEM-CELL RESEARCH

As for the Michael J. Fox ads… they’ve been poetry in motion. Watching him suffer through his Parkinson’s-related symptoms while beefing up support for stem-cell research and chastising the candidates against it was utterly compelling. The sheer simplicity of the ads was beautiful, and I’m sure for the other side… scary. It’s hard to argue against suffering; Rush found that out the hard way.


If we’re going to be inundated with negative advertising during elections (and I don’t see any end to it), I’d like to see more of these. Despite the material being presented in the “Call Me” ad, at least it had entertainment value. I doubt it’ll get me to change my vote, but the laugh will be appreciated. The stark, shocking simplicity of Fox’s ads, however, might actually get me to change my vote. He couldn’t have gotten his point across more clearly.

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By Paul Hooson, October 28, 2006 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part of the problem with the ad is that it also utilizes actors reading fictional scripts that are not clearly identified as actors. Under commercial advertising rules for products this must be clearly noted. The “call me” woman in the ad is actually a Texas actress who has appeared in ads for other products before including beauty items. She is not even a Tennessee voter.

In Oregon, Republican candidate Mike Erikson is also running ads with actors reading outrageous scripts and lines about his opponent, Rep. Darlene Hooley. Once again, the ad was likely produced out of state with paid actors not even entitled to vote in Oregon.

The trouble with these fictionalized presentations is that they do not represent real voters or testimonials, and distort the records of persons or the events that are called into question.

The Playboy sponsored football party event that Harold Ford attended some time back was attended by 5,000 persons. These large scale events do not involve sexual misconduct, nudity, drugs, or other illegal activity. They are perfectly legal and respectable large scale events.

The Republican paid ad attempts to misrepresent the Playboy sponsored event as somehow involving activity that involves sexual or other misconduct. There needs to be strict new campaign laws against ads that use actors to read fictional scripts. These ads distort the truth to the point of becoming a false indictment of their intended target and only falsely create a new reality of original events. These false recreations of events should be banned by federal law just as much as false advertising of products with phony testimonials by paid actors, and not real endorsements by geniune product users.

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By Reason, October 27, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This ad is tasteless and silly but it’s not racist.

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By texzen, October 27, 2006 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, this might have been considered racist 30 years ago but I don’t see it that way at all. It’s a silly ad and that’s easy to see but racist? Not to my brain. Think you need to check your meds.

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By DaRo, October 27, 2006 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush and Chaney thought Saddam had those WMD because they had given them to him and couldn’t believe he didn’t still have them even when the UN Inspectors said they weren’t there.

This IS a racist ad and full of lies.  The purpose is to disgust everyone so they stay home and then only the faithful will go out and vote the rats in again and again.

People need to educate themselves.  Ford should not have to say, “I did not take money from porn producers.” 

People are getting so brain washed its no wonder they have no brains left.

The reason the education K thru 12 is so bad in this country is because an educated populace would see through crap like this.

UGH!!

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By Julie B., October 27, 2006 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More hate and ignorance! So much for the jealous fool who used this cheap disgusting tactic to try and sway a very “Handsome,Intelligent and Decent” African American Politician. Shame on the dirt cheap white woman who lowered herself to be a part of this dis-graceful ad and the rest of the mental cases who were also starving for some attention! A woman such as that one could only dream of having a fine man like Harold Ford! She’s not qualified….There’s a better way, and it’s called R-E-S-P-E-C=T, and Harold Ford has it ALL!!!!

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By AC, October 27, 2006 at 7:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Call me crazy, but I don’t see any racial issues in the commercial. I feel it is a tasteless add, none the less, the people who think there are racial tensions in it are digging. The white woman is portraying a Hollywood porn star; many porn stars are white. The point was a PORN STAR was telling Ford to call her, not a white woman.

That’s the problem with voters. They only see what they want to see, and the wrong people get elected. Quit digging for scoops and just look at what is being offered to you.

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By LK, October 26, 2006 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is not the slightest hint of racism in this ad. Not the slightest.
To think that there is does a great disservice to those who fight against real racism!! The NAACP ought to be ashamed!

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By Diane Park, October 26, 2006 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

I’m an Asian American living in the south - for the last few years.  It’s a no man’s land for Asians in a part of the country that has a complex, deep, and ambiguous history of the relationship between blacks and whites.

As a minority, it is hard not to perceive racism or some form of discriminatory behavior in many situations where feelings of racism, ignorance, or curiosity may be almost imperceptible to a majority person.  As a majority person, it is unfair to say that people pull the “racist card” in situations as an excuse or a fix to a particular problem because you have most likely never been in a minority person’s shoes or skin!  How can race NOT be an issue in the most diverse country in the world?

I don’t know if one day we can be a country that is not concerned with racial issues.  It is a fallacy to say that we are not racially aware and there are not racist thoughts, doubts, perceptions, or other vibes out there.

It’s no wonder that many people feel that conservatives are racist or have racist undertones.  I agree with the comment that it makes no real sense for someone to come out and say they are racist in our culture and society today - in an effort to garner popularity.  However conservatives typically do not like change, and social change is all about diversification in this country, so no wonder issues like immigration, discrimination, affirmative action, and gay/lesbian marriage come up as issues that divide the left from the right.

Ads like the one against Ford and the slips by Senator Allen are tiny embers in a hidden fire - the latent racism of certain people in this country who oppose immigration (because it is bringing in the wrong kind of people), gay/lesbian marriage (because it allows the wrong kind of people into the institution of marriage), and affirmative action (because it floods companies and schools with the wrong kind of people).  Conservatives are always standing in the rising tide, like a weak levee - about to bust. 

During my first year or so out here - for the first time living in the South, I would look at old white people and wonder what they were doing and thinking fifty - sixty years back.  Then again - what were they thinking five minutes ago when they glared at me out of the corner of their eyes?  Times change - and sometimes people are forced to change, but how much really changes - you never know.

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By Calgary Alberta, October 26, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to those who came up with this campaign…

Leave Canada out of “your” dirty Politics. 

A big, beautiful, yet small (the population can fit inside of New York state)country has sent 2700 troops to Afghanistan. Among other peace keeping efforts Canada’s not busy????-now that’s reaching.

Do the math.  Keep your muck in your own back yard.

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By Mike, October 26, 2006 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Flip the roles.

Suppose it were all blacks or hispanics
against a white candidate saying things like,

“I hear he had a black mistress”

or

“You know if he wins, we’ll all be just
a bunch of wetbacks as far as he’s concerned”

A black woman winking into the camera saying
“I’ll be your sugar mama.”

Nevermind the racist overtones.

Is this the BEST we can do?

If the RNC has a gripe against Harold Ford and
democrats in general, this is the BEST they do
to express it?

I think politicians sometimes take themselves
FAR too seriously and I think sometimes voters
don’t take them or the issues seriously enough.

I’d be just as embarrassed if it were an ad
by the DNC against republicans.

This isn’t even good satire.

I hope there’s not anyone from Tennessee who
sees themselves in this ad and is proud of it.

It doesn’t effectively make the points against
Harold Ford and it’s an embarrassment both to
the RNC and to the people of Tennessee.

Did anyone miss the part that even Harold Ford’s
challenger Corker is embarrassed by and doesn’t
want to be associated with the ad AND that the
ad has been pulled?

Even if it has a life in the news and on the
internet, I doubt it will have the effect the
RNC is hoping for, namely to move and consolidate
votes behind Corker.

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By Jay Harrison, October 26, 2006 at 2:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know or care anything about this particular political contest. But loved the ad. It is clever and interesting unlike most excruciatingly boring political ads.

Those of you who find racism in it are having to dig pretty deeply (into your own minds). It’s not the sixties any more, most of us are really really tired of the habit of dragging out racism at every opportunity. Give it a rest.

And to you partisan zealots. The Republicans and the Democrats are neck and neck in a race to the sewer. They both are corrupt beyond repair.

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By saul, October 25, 2006 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s face it Conservatives talk about VN being the turning point,but it was Civil Rights that upset the racist Christo/fascist southern Democrats who switched party over civil rights.
Their blacks and women were freed and they couldn’t and many still can’t abide with that.
Having sex with blacks as Strom did was okay but God forbid eat with them Hell- No
Jesse Helms isn’t running but his tactics are, just as the one Old Man Bush used with the black guy and his furlough. The problem there is Dukakis never fought back and said what he did was required by a law he didn’t have anything to do with. He also could have pointed out that Reagan and Bush also furloughed many.
But just like they have never pointed out that Reagan, Bush41/Cheneyu armed both Saddam & Osama and that Bush41/Cheney refused to help people of Iraq when they rose up against Saddam .

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By William Owens, October 25, 2006 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

UNBELIEVABLE!  I knew it was a matter of time before someone was called a racist, and its always a white person calling another white person a racist.  Im an inactive Marine and if I had enough money I would move out of this falling country to either Australia or England.  This country has some serious issues that cannot be fixed and those are the facts.  No matter what some of these librals from the north would want everyone to believe that all southerners are racist and all republicans are racist.  Not even Harold Ford believes the ad was racist.  Truth is Chris Matthews is a coward who has so much hate against republicans he will call them anything he can to get people as pissed off at them as possible.  I still havnt heard a rebutle from the accusations of Ford taking money from Porn producers.  I would really like to hear his side of the story.  Im still waiting.  I think the next thing people will be calling us are moralist which will have as bad a reputation as a racist.  Im not perfect, but I try to vote for someone who is atleast more perfect than me.  Im not voting for either of these two, because they both cannot be trusted in my opinion.  We need a new party to come in other than these Money Tycoon Elephants and Immoral Jackasses.  These 2 are going to owe so many people after this election they wont have any say of there own any damn way.  I hate both parties but Demon-crates I call them take the cake, because everyone is racist except them.  Also anyone who doesnt have atleast a triple digit IQ DO NOT REPLY TO THIS BLOG.

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By Lissa, October 25, 2006 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe that is all people have to worry about is who is racist or not.  I am not prejudice, I judge people with how they are, not their color.  I am white and have black friends that are the best anyone could ask for.  But I get so sick of hearing about racism.  It is ridiculous.  Can’t we all come together as a country not as what color we are.  We have soldiers dying everyday and this is all we can whine about is some stupid commercial.  Who cares!!! It is nothing but trash anyway.  If all someone does to try to get themselves votes is to bash someone else then I say they aren’t worth my time.  It just sickens me how everyone acts so childish in this world.  Try thinking of things that are a lot more important, like coming together as a country and supporting our men dying over in other countries.  Grow up people!!!!

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By Saskboy, October 25, 2006 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least the guy bashing Canada was wearing suspenders. That kinda makes it better.

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By wolfgang, October 25, 2006 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The add has been pulled. But it has been shown locally quite a bit. Too often if you ask me

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By DW, October 25, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Come on people. It really is kind of funny. I love the part with a women telling Harold to call him! Harold if you show you have a sense of humor you have my vote!

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By Tom Hudson, October 25, 2006 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am deeply offended that Canadians are being allowed to post comments on this website.

And take a look at the criticism: “I can’t believe the FCC would even allow it. As someone who actually writes ads, I deplore this one!”

This comment is so typical of Canadians!  They have no First Amendment rights and concepts like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press have no meaning to them at all.  Maybe they would fit right in with those North Koreans!

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By JW, October 25, 2006 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of my posts got lost, so I will try again: instead of concentrating so much on this ad, maybe it would be better to concentrate on the fact that Ford has voted for the Patriot Act and is proud of it, has voted for the Military Commissions Act, and has said that like most people he was forced to attend church and that made him a better person.  What does his Republican counterpart say?  That he would have voted for the Patriot Act, that he would have voted for the Military Commissions Act, and that he does not believe in taking the separation of church and state too far?  Wow, some choice Tennessee voters have.

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By Siobhan, October 25, 2006 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a Canadian and deeply offended by the reference to my country. We have soldier after soldier coming home in boxes (and there are more military bases in the region I live in that most others). We are most certainly busy - especially in Afghanistan!!!

And this is a racist and sexist ad of the worst kind. I can’t believe the FCC would even allow it. As someone who actually writes ads, I deplore this one!

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By Matt M., October 25, 2006 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can that guy be so ignorant. Like electing Harold Ford will stop Bush from taking action against North Korea! I have to laugh at his statement matter of fact it’s the laugh of the day! Like he or any of his children wil be sacrificed!

Bush has had six years to find the fmr Soviet Unions missing WMD’S. Shouldn’t we be afraid of Russia selling off a nuke to Al-Quida, The Taliban or the Sunni or Shiite’s or any other anti-American terrorists? Why haven’t we spent every dime we have to finding those missing Nukes?

To be fair Clinton didn’t do much to either fund or seek those nukes either!

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By Jon, October 25, 2006 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is clearly the work of republican value, which is acceptable to them but no one else on earth.

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By SV, October 25, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I fail to see any racism in this ad at all.  That’s probably just because I don’t get upset at the thought of a black man dating a white girl.  What gets me upset is all the people making the assumption that all Southerners are racists. 

Besides, what benefit would republicans get from using race in this ad?  Are you people honestly saying that you think a person with racial prejudice against blacks would vote for a black man, but just not a black man who dates white women?  Anyone who decides not to vote for Ford on the basis of race will not be more encouraged to vote against him because of who he dates.  I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist in the South, but saying this ad uses racism to discourage people from voting for Ford is ridiculous.

They are trying to show Harold Ford as being a Playboy because he keeps promoting himself as a church going family values guy.  They are simply showing a contradiction between his message and his actions.

Maybe if you people that are so up in arms about this ad would let go of your own hang ups about race and look past the color of the person in the ad you could see what was really going on.

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By Patton, October 25, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
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You people who believe this ad is rascist are just sad.  There isn’t a rasicts thing in it, your using your own racial sterotyping to label the ad.

Perhaps you all feel like Harold Ford Sr, that a bucnh of CRACKERS as he calls white people are going to find it upsetting that a white playboy bunny would want Harold to give her a call.  Grow up.

Were the Republicans supposed to use onl a black bunny?  What about a half white/half black?  is that OK?  How about Cherokee?  Fact is 99% of actual playboy bunnies are white.

Get a grip.  The real issue is does harold Ford believe in the values of Playboy?  And how rascists is he to have grown up with a father that goes around calling white people CRACKERS.

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By sir, October 25, 2006 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This ad is pure crap and doesn’t speak well of us as Americans. We need to portray a better image.  Simply put.

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By Greg H, October 25, 2006 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The self hating left always plays the race card….sad

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By Bob, October 25, 2006 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You people need help.  My buddy and I watched this ad.  I’m white, he’s black.  We are both Democrats.  He’s more liberal and I’m more conserative.  We both agreed that there is no sign of racism in this ad.  You people are spewing of hate.  What fear is this article portraying?  Thae fact that Democrats raise taxes, which is true.  The fact that most Democrats want gun control, which is true.  The fact that Democrats want the death tax to remain.  Hmmmm sounds like you people fear the truth.

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By CJ, October 25, 2006 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
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These ads were apparently designed to appeal to ignorant southern White Trash. However, I think Bob Corker and the Republicans have underestimated and insulted the intelligence of Tennesseeans! I think like the rest of the country, everybody in Tennessee has had enough!

Harold Ford’s straight-shooter moderate responses and his integrity will hopefully help him prevail against such negative garbage.

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By JW, October 25, 2006 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And the Military Commissions Act, he voted for that too.

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By JW, October 25, 2006 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
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I don’t know, I’mnot from Tennessee, so maybe I’m missing it, maybe the racism is too subtle for me to notice.  To my mind and eyes, that woman is not there to portray “somebody’s innocent daughter,” she is there to portray a loose floozey from the Playboy mansion, the kind of person that the makers of this ad want you to believe Ford associates with regularly. 

Anyway, shouldn’t a bigger issue be that Ford is a Bible-thumper who said that like most people he first went to church by being forced to go there, and that made him a better person?  Or that he voted for the Patriot Act and is proud of it?

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By bill, October 25, 2006 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a White, Middle aged man,,,,and I live in the South….I know racism when I see it and this AD is “PURE” Racist….

That “Good-Ole Boy” network of Wink wink,,,nod nod happens all the time in the South to this day.

We have Real Problems in America,,,and yet the RNC resorts to the Gutter to win a election…If their Record were so great,,,,Racist Ads wouldn’t be needed..

Shame on Republicans,,,Shame on BOb Corker,,,Shame on the RNC===America deserves better and once again,,,the Republicans show Americans they will do anything to Hold onto Power,,,even Smear and Trash,,,,,Hate and Racism rests directly on Republicans Shoulders…..

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By G. Chell, October 25, 2006 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A leopard cannot change its spots. The white southerner cannot stop thinking about race. The people running the ad may not be racist, but it is meant to appeal to folks who live in Eastern Tennessee bordering one of the worst racist areas of the country, Georgia’s tenth congressional district represented by another racist politician named Nathan Deal…and it will work. One really needs to blame the Democrats. Have they not learnt from the two Harvey Gantt fiasco’s in North Carolina? Why run a black in a southern state for statewide office if you want to win? Luckily for the Dems Rove and company have also caught the disease, by running two black men, Blackwell and Swann in a couple of states up north with significant pockets of racims…and the negative coattails may (or is it will?) cause the GOP to loose the House.

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By DOC, October 25, 2006 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This type of Ad has been used for years to incite fear and hatred.The ones who think its cute are the neo-con (artists) and reichwingers who are grasping at straws because their Hero Bush has screwed everything up he and his cronies put their hands on.“The saying desperate people do desperate things” is right on target!

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By kevin99999, October 25, 2006 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This ad by the Republican party shows for it is, a racist and fear mongering organization..a quieter version of the KKK. These are scammers and criminals of the highest order.

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By Keith, October 25, 2006 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How soon people forget history. There was a time in the not too distant past when a white woman winking a come on to a black man would have resulted in a lynching. Think that’s a bit strong? There’s still that hardwiring in the heads of too many people on BOTH sides of the Mason/Dixon line - there are yahoos on both sides. But this ad was designed to get the Tennessee bubbas to the polls in a very close race. Its not just the racist red flags - notice how they worked in the gun angle, the terrorism angle and the death tax angle, etc. all within 30 seconds. You gotta hand it to Rove in the way you would hand it to Darth Vader - they’re both diabolically good at what they do.

And lookey at all the free publicity this ad is getting - running day and night on all the news/talk shows and all over the net. Everyone wants to see it.

Clearly the GOP doesn’t do anything by accident - this ad was researched and vetted and they must believe an appeal like this could swing a close race AND since Tennessee is one of two states the GOP must hold to keep the Senate, this may be the Willie Horton ad of the 2006 campaign.

Where the slam against Canada comes from is a mystery to me. Is there THAT much resentment in the heartland against Canada? As Skdadl wrote how many Americans know of the sacrifices Canadian Forces soldiers are making right now?

This whole episode, coupled with Limbaugh’s denunciation of Michael J. Fox’s spots, is really quite sad for the body politic but in this country, we’ve become used to politics as a blood sport.

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By Benny Hill, October 25, 2006 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harold Ford Jr. is a single man, he is not married.

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By rs, October 25, 2006 at 4:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With all the racial buildup in the article, the ad was disappointing.

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By skdadl, October 25, 2006 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gosh. Dissing the Canadian Forces at a time when they are coming back in coffins from Afghanistan at a greater rate than soldiers of any other NATO contingent there is about the stupidest thing the Bush administration could do to its buddy here, Conservative PM Stephen Harper. Canadians are immensely supportive of their troops but growing unhappy with Bush’s wars (which Harper promotes), so hearing that Republicans make fun of dying Canadian soldiers is going to become an election issue here.

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By David F, October 24, 2006 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all who say the ad was ok. Harold is married, why was this in the ad if not to make an issue of black men dating white.

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By NM, October 24, 2006 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks who are entertained by this piece of crap posing as a political ad and don’t see the racist content must be kind of dim-witted at best or just plain afro-phobic at worst.  There is nothing wrong with the ad, provided that all of the inuendo is accurate. It is typical sleaze-ball / mud-slinging that is routinely practiced by BOTH parties. The seductive winking and come-on by the sexy white blonde at the end of the ad is reprehensible and the purveyors of that overt, yet subtle, subliminal message should be ashamed of themselves.  It’s a very clean business to lynch a reputation. Reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m not from Tennessee, and I am not familiar with the issues, but I recognize race-baiting and the people who produced this ad are slime.

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By plainspoken, October 24, 2006 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason that this ad will be effective is because it’s message is subliminal. The intended audience will not recognize the message overtly, but will react on a gut level. To think of an attractive young (blonde haired, blue-eyed) being attracted to a young Black man will reach back to the stereotypes that have been imprinted by decades of racial stereotyping.

The comments posted don’t address the issue. This is the same subtle appeal for ace loyalty that the Republican ad advisors have used before. But it is as much an insult to the White Southern audience as to anyone. It presumes that they are ignorant, unaware and motivated purely by race hate, not the thinking intelligent people they are. This ad is a subtle insult - it’s simply saying, they will react negatively to the Black candidate and they’re to stupid to understand that we pulled their chain.

Don’t you just hate it when someone insults your intelligence?

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By KountryKornerKafe, October 24, 2006 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nothing to see here folks… just some boys burning a cross in the middle of the night.

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By Ida B. Wells, October 24, 2006 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “Fear” ads (guns, taxes and terror) is wearing thin, is the “Fear” card the only card left that the Republicans can play.

Farewell to the Fear Card:

(1). The “Fear” card “have fought the good fight and have finished the course”.

(2). The “Fear” card “will not hunt anymore”.

(3). The “Fear” card “No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come”.

(4). The “Fear” card “What is inflated too much, will burst into fragments”.

(5). The “Fear” card “Where there is no shame, there is no honor”.

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By John Underwood, October 24, 2006 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With the Iraq disaster, rampant corruption, global climate change and huge budget and trade deficits this was all the Republicans could come up with?

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By Tracy, October 24, 2006 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, please. All of you who claim to see “no racist undertones” are full of it. This ad was very clearly intended to play on the subconscious fear/hatred of the bigoted voters who cannot abide by the notion that a black man might be with a white woman. It also needlessly injects sexuality into a campaign for the senate while utterly failing to address salient issues. The odd part for me is why the RNC would consider this ad to be effective. If a voter is so easily freaked by the notion of a “black man with a white woman” (the horror!) then chances are that same voter is too bigoted to vote for Rep. Ford in the first place. The “swing” voters are likely more concerned with issues such as the failure in Iraq, lack of oversight by the GOP-led congress, jobs going overseas, no raise in minimum wage in over 10 years, lack of affordable healthcare, etc. In other words, issues that directly affect them and not their Fear of the Black Man.

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By dave, October 24, 2006 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Swift boat part 2.  Regardless of whether it’s racist or not (i kind of think it is) it’s despicable mud throwing by pigs who’s only chance to win an election is to get their opponent down in the gutter for a wrestling match. It reeks of Rove. 
By the way, Mehlman, who is Chairman of the RNCC went on Meet the Press and had the gall to say that he didn’t have the power to pull the ad even tho it’s produced by the RNCC!  These guys never have the guts to take responsibility for anything.  They have absolutely no shame.

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By Rian, October 24, 2006 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those of you who didn’t see the racist content: did you not read the contents of the article?  To you and me it’s not playing on any racial fears, but some people in Tennessee will be offended that a white woman will intermingle with a black man and go out and vote just because of their fear.  Karl Rove and friends are using this racial fear and thus are acting unethically. You have to look at it from a political standpoint (not from your own perspective.)  No laws are broken, but consider this scenerio: a hispanic looking man mowing a lawn eyes a young white girl coming home (someone’s daughter) and then pans to this message: “so and so supports immigration”.  In the same way, such a message avoids a reasoned debate and plays on peoples fears of hispanics, etc. By the way, Clinton’s cabinet was more diverse than Bush’s see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/07/AR2006050700731.html

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By Wolfgang Marquardt, October 24, 2006 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have lived around Memphis TN now for twenty years, and to say this ad is not racist is just blatantly ignorant.

Racism simmers below the surface all around here, especially in the all republican suburbs.

Any chance to take a swing at ‘THEM’ is welcome. Our Memphis Mayor and our Shelby County Mayor are constantly under fire and so is the Ford Family.

Harold Ford has worked hard for his political carrier and does not deserve windy characters like that to drag him through the mud.

Nice Republicans being portrait in this ad. Send them where the belong into the mud.

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By Gerry, October 24, 2006 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is nothing more than Republican “carpet baggers” trying to be the cute little race “baiters” that they really are.  From Bush’s “compassion” to Rove’s “cherubic” (read fat) and despicable little cutsie act - these guys will make the Yellow Journalism and “Glittering Sensationalism” of the early 20th century pale in comparison.  This crew is without a doubt “THE WORST GENERATION.”  This is just sad, sad, sad….

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By mark shertoff, October 24, 2006 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The race baiting against Ford started a few weeks ago with right wing DC pundits suggesting a Ford victory would encourage an Obama run for President. At the same time the RNC increased funds for Macaca George Allen, this after the disclosures of his bigoted comments. My guess is that the Republicans falling to their core 37% nationwide are closing the tent around the ‘Reagan Southern Strategy,” racism.
I agree with some of the earlier posts, nothing racist about this ad. She wouldn’t touch anybody not related. Perhaps he is.

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By joe, October 24, 2006 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

just like perverts and dope heads who hide their evil deeds in back alleys under the cover of darkness so goes the self righteous indignation of liberal democrats when the lights are turned on and the truth about them is revealed.

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By Patrick, October 24, 2006 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a former Tennessean and can only say one thing: the entire Ford family is self serving and at times unethical in their approach to politics.  If Tennesseans elect Harold Ford, Jr. it is only due to their ignorance of the man and his family.

As respects to the RNC ad shown above, it is tasteless and despicable.  Why slur a man that slurs himself each time he opens his mouth.

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By JB, October 24, 2006 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, after hearing about the ad and how terrible and racist and trashy and despicable it was…. I finally saw it. You know what? Some people really need to get a grip. Some people really need to stop being so self-righteous and over-sensitive and some people really need to stop seeing the boogey man around every corner. The ad was fine. Personally I thought it was more entertaining and imaginative than your typical boring campaign ad. My name is JB and I approved this message.

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By JW, October 24, 2006 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t get it.  Where is the racist content?  Where is the playing on fears?  If the ad really wanted to effectively bring up that “white woman attracted to black man” fear then instead of that ditzy cougar they would have a young, innocent looking and sounding white girl “flirt” with the black Democrat.

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By don, October 24, 2006 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just another fine example of fascist thinking - these Republican ads make Nazis look like cupcakes!

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By Bob Eckenrode, October 24, 2006 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow.  The L.A. Times and this site are really reaching to make the Republican party look bad.  lol I saw no racial content in it at all.  I think the Democrats should be more upset that they are trying to say that their client is linked to porn.

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By GW, October 24, 2006 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has Karl Rove written all over it.  A person lacking any decency willing to do anything to further his aims.  God willing we will repudiate slime like Rove this year and relegate him and sleaze balls like him to the trash bin of history (where they belong).

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