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Old 10-24-2006, 07:31 PM   #1
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GOP attack ad draws heat for racial overtones

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GOP attack ad draws heat for racial overtones
The Tennessee spot is denounced as more of the 'Southern strategy.'

By Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
October 24, 2006

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.


"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."

The 30-second ad features fictional characters satirizing Ford.

A black woman notes that Ford "looks good" and asks, "Isn't that enough?" Others suggest Ford backs privacy for terrorists, accepts money from the pornography industry, wants to raise taxes and backs letting Canada deal with the North Korea nuclear threat.

The character who has raised complaints is a blond woman who speaks in a hushed, suggestive tone and says that she met Ford at "the Playboy party."

At the end of the ad, she reappears and says: "Harold, call me." She winks and holds her hand up as if holding a phone.

The character who has raised complaints is a blond woman who speaks in a hushed, suggestive tone and says that she met Ford at "the Playboy party."
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:38 PM   #2
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those black men will steal all the white women with their virile jungle instincts and elephant-sized ...
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:42 PM   #3
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I would like to hear someone try and defend of even explain this ad



brought to you by the National Republican Party
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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That's really tasteless. I don't really expect much better to be honest.
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:58 PM   #5
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The GOP is really showing it's true colors as of late...
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:01 PM   #6
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I don't find the white woman as offensive as the aggressive smear tactics without citing evidence. Some of the comments are funny (the Canada comment comes to mind), but the ones specific to Ford cross a line.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:15 PM   #7
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Oh yeah the Canada comment is hilarious.

We don't have much to do up here. Except to have our soldiers dying over in Afghanistan while Bush cut and run from there. But hey, that's gratitude for you.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:17 PM   #8
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The GOP is really showing it's true colors as of late...
Is that a racist statement?

But seriously, does the fact that Robert Byrd was card-carrying KKK member show the true colors of the Democratic party?

Nonsense; there are racists in every party.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:22 PM   #9
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Originally posted by anitram
Oh yeah the Canada comment is hilarious.

We don't have much to do up here. Except to have our soldiers dying over in Afghanistan while Bush cut and run from there. But hey, that's gratitude for you.
The number of British, Canadian, Dutch and Australian soldiers combined in Afghanistan is around 19,000.

Which is approximately the same amount of US Soldiers alone.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:31 PM   #10
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Is that a racist statement?

But seriously, does the fact that Robert Byrd was card-carrying KKK member show the true colors of the Democratic party?

Nonsense; there are racists in every party.
The tricky thing about this though is that the ad is put out by the Republican National Committee, not by one particular candidate, so it would seem to reflect on the party as a whole rather than one particular candidate.

Which is not to say that all Republicans are racists. Heck, some of my best friends are Republicans. Not all of those people are bad!

Seriously though, it does seem that the Republican party has been more willing to toy with subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints of racism as a way to motivate white voters. After all the GOP made a statement last year "that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters"

For the Democrats, you'd have to go back to the segregation-era Democratic party to find those kinds of tatics party-wide.

It's one of the reasons why I believe the first black president will be a Republican. Because the Democrats won't use the racist tactics that the Republicans might employ if the candidate were Democrat. If a black candidate can make it through the Republican primaries (a much more difficult prospect), he could have a real shot at the White House.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:32 PM   #11
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


The number of British, Canadian, Dutch and Australian soldiers combined in Afghanistan is around 19,000.

Yes and it's nice to see the Republicans hold those contributions in such high esteem.

I hope they sink like the Titanic in 2 weeks.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:38 PM   #12
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

But seriously, does the fact that Robert Byrd was card-carrying KKK member show the true colors of the Democratic party?

Nonsense; there are racists in every party.
When you start having Dems covering up for his actions or defending those actions then you'll have a leg to stand on.

His membership in 1943 is inexcusable, but if I found the party covering for him like those of Foley, had a president acting like he was catering to Christian groups to get support just to blow them off, or saw the party support commercials like this, then I'll call them out on it.

Until then...
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:49 PM   #13
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The GOP never ceases to amaze me.

BTW Irvine, your sig made me pee my pants.
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:48 AM   #14
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I saw Harold Ford and his opponent on the Situation Room last night, the Playboy party refers to a Playboy Superbowl party he attended. And he is actually being criticized for confronting his opponent publicly

Yes of course there are racists in every party, but that doesn't mean racist or racial overtones in campaigns and ads are acceptable. Politics is such a dirty business, it's depressing

BLITZER: All right. I know this is not your ad, but if you really, really wanted to get it lifted you probably could.

BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE SENATE CANDIDATE: No that's not true. We actually have been on national TV ads as we are now. We've asked senators to call. These are independent expenditure groups. We want it down. We do not believe that it -- certainly does not represent our campaign. We have nothing to do with it. We believe that it's tacky and has no place in this race.

BLITZER: Is it -- you say it's tacky, but is it racist?

CORKER: I, you know, it's tacky and certainly has no place in this race.

BLITZER: But do you see why some are suggesting, including former Republican senator, former Defense Secretary William Cohen here in THE SITUATION ROOM yesterday that it's certainly almost like playing the race card?

CORKER: Well, again, I have seen the ad one time on a computer. I've never even seen it on television. I don't like it. I have asked for it to come down. I don't know what else we can do. I know many people are calling the RNC on our behalf to see what can be done to get it down, but we have nothing to do with it.

I'm out campaigning all across the state of Tennessee, giving my message of making sure that we're safe and secure, making sure that we leave within our means, making sure we pursue economic growth and preserve those great traditions that have made our state and country great. And I feel nothing but positive energy. Really I don't hear anything about this except from the media. Obviously we've demanded that it come down, but we're out campaigning...

(CROSSTALK)

CORKER: ... positive energy. BLITZER: Mr. Corker, excuse me for interrupting. Have you called Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican Party, and asked him to pull it?

CORKER: Our campaign officials have talked to people at very high levels there and asked that this come down. I don't know who specifically has talked to who, but I know it began...

BLITZER: What about you...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Have you made a call to the RNC; have you made a call to the White House...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: ... and told Republicans you know what, I think this is hurting the state of Tennessee, hurting this debate, and I would like to see it go away.

CORKER: Everybody at the RNC from the top down knows that I want this down. There are senators who are my friends, some of which are inside that are making calls that do the same. Everyone knows that we want it down. And look, I'm out here campaigning. We have nothing whatsoever to do with the ad.

As a matter of fact, I wish that my opponent would join me in asking that the ads that are being run by the DNC would come down. Both of them have no place in this race. And we are very proud of the things that we ourselves are doing. The momentum shift in this race has been substantial over the last two or three weeks. We've built a lead and we're going to win this race if we just keep doing what we're doing on the ground. We do not need that type of activity in our race.

BLITZER: He's complaining bitterly, Harold Ford Jr., that instead of going after him directly, you're going after his family. You're making his family an issue. And he says that a real man wouldn't do that.

CORKER: Well I think we saw a real man on Friday in Memphis. And I think what we saw was someone who does not have the comportment nor the temperament nor the ability to be a statesman and really deal with the issues that we have to deal with in the United States Senate that are so complex and need...

BLITZER: Welcome back. Tonight we're bringing you a rare one- two punch interview in one of the most closest and most contiguous Senate races in the nation. We just heard moments ago from Tennessee Republican candidate Bob Corker. Joining us now his Democrat opponent, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. Congressman, thanks very much for coming in.

REP. HAROLD FORD, JR. (D), TENNESSEE SENATE CANDIDATE: Mr. Blitzer, thanks for having me on.

BLITZER: Do you believe this ad that the Republican Party is running against you, showing this seemingly naked blond woman enticing you that this is a racist ad. Are they playing the race card?

FORD: I don't know what they're playing if it's race or not, but I do know it's sleazy and it's promoting smut and it's coming on during family programming time in my state. The question I have is if my opponent wants it down, he should be able to get it down. If he doesn't have the influence to convince Republicans in Washington to take a sleazy, awful, smut-pushing ad down in our state, how on earth can voters trust him to stand up for them in Tennessee to the Republicans?

BLITZER: He says he's tried and he says that the top leadership of the Republican Party, Ken Mehlman among others, know he would like to see it go down, but there are independent expenditures as they call it.

FORD: Right. If Democrats were running an ad like this, it wouldn't be running. I can assure you. But this campaign is about something bigger. And one of the reasons that I think the National Republican Party is engaged in this kind of campaigning is they have come up short on ideas and answers. My opponent has too. When it comes to Iraq, North Korea, middle-class values, health care, education, all of the issues that are important to people, he's not been able to articulate a clear message. And I think the national party has demonstrated a great frustration...

BLITZER: Charlie Cook -- I want to just point out to you that that Charlie Cook, who's one of the best observers when it comes to Congress out there, he looks at these most recent polls including this Mason Dixon poll, which shows Corker slightly ahead of you. He says that what Corker says your Memphis meltdown when you went out and interrupted his news conference there, seems to have shifted the momentum and that you're in trouble now because of what you tried to do to him in Memphis.

FORD: No, sir. We have a little different take and I think voters here are demonstrating over and over again that they're ready for change. I think this -- these ads and the efforts in Washington over the last six years with the debt being where it is, the Iraq war being...

BLITZER: Was it the mistake though, Congressman, for you to... FORD: No.

BLITZER: ... interrupt his news conference and challenge him there on the scene, to show up unexpected and just go after him?

FORD: No, sir. We didn't interrupt anything. We showed off before his press conference started. And as you probably know, Mr. Blitzer, Iraq is a large issue and an important issue to a lot of families here in my state, a lot of military families. So I showed up and asked my opponent, who has not agreed to any debates in East Tennessee.

I shared with him that I thought it was important that voters have some sense of our views and our positions in light of so many Republican senators and even the White House now changing its opinion with regard to stay the course. It was before his press conference started. And I stand by it because Iraq is the most important issue on voters' minds...

BLITZER: He says it did not show much statesmanship. And that this is what the voters are looking for and that you don't have it when it comes to becoming a United States senator.
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:54 AM   #15
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do you use The Google too?
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