10.26.11 4:06 AM ET
Rick Perry Pounces on Anita, Herman Cain’s Smoking Man, and More Crazy Campaign Ads (Video)
Rick Perry: ‘I Really Approve This Message’
As if Rick Perry’s last Iowa ad didn’t cause enough controversy, here’s another one to ponder. This ad starts off normally enough, with Perry’s wife, Anita, talking about their “old-fashioned-American story.” “We grew up in small towns, with Christian values, and we know Washington, D.C., could use some of that,” she says. After she describes her husband’s time in the Air Force, her husband appears out of nowhere to say “I’m Rick Perry and I really approve this message.”
Campaign Ad: Herman Cain Style
Was Cain’s ode to pizza merely a preview of things to come? We can only hope: On Tuesday, the pizza magnate-turned-wannabe politician released this ad, featuring his chief of staff smoking a cigarette while singing Cain’s praises. But it doesn’t end there. Mark Block’s speech is delivered over background music worthy of a patriotic disco: “We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen. But then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.” America has never seen an ad like this either—spot the cigarette!
M.C. Hammer’s Mayoral Endorsement
Bruce Lee, Tommy Lee, Sara Lee: Those are just a few of the Lees San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson names in his endorsement of the city’s interim mayor, Ed Lee. The ad, which hit the Internet the same day as Herman Cain’s viral smoking spot, features MC Hammer, Will.I.Am, Twitter founder Biz Stone, and other random Silicon Valley celebrities telling the candidate he’s “2 Legit 2 Quit.” The ad comes from San Franciscans for Jobs and Good Government, not Lee’s campaign—and we can see why. While the colonial costumes are MIA, there are more Hammer pants in this video than should be legal.
Rick Perry: Action Movie Star?
Move over, Tom Cruise, there’s a new action movie star in town. The 2012 hopeful’s latest campaign spot plays more like a blockbuster about the Texas governor’s “proven leadership” than a video promoting a potential president. The video opens with a dramatic scene of a train passing through a bleak town; abandoned houses and subway cars are strewn along the road with, of course, a tattered poster of President Obama. Bonus: This ad has a sequel Perry biopic for the constituents who aren’t fans of the action genre.
‘Gather Your Armies’—And Colonial Costumes
George Washington, Sam Adams, and Ben Franklin just rolled over in their graves. Tea Partier Rick Barber reincarnated the Founding Fathers in this ad for his 2010 bid to represent Alabama’s 2nd District in Congress. In the spot, Barber riles up the would-be Washington, Adams, and Franklin by giving a laundry list of the government’s current failings. “You gentlemen revolted over a tea tax—a tea tax! Now look at us,” Barber says. Despite the war cry—and goofy costumes—Barber’s enthusiastic ads weren’t enough to win him the election. One thing’s for certain, though: Barber wins for cheesiest acting.
Carly Fiorina’s ‘Demon Sheep’
Get ready for a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing—literally. In one of the strangest ads in recent history, the 2010 Senate candidate attacked her Republican primary rival, Tom Campbell, for claiming he was a fiscal conservative. In the ad, innocent sheep graze in a meadow as a not-so-innocent creature emerges: a person wearing a sheep costume with red—we repeat, red—laser eyes. Did we mention there’s fake lightning and flying animals, too? Fiorina ultimately didn’t unseat California foe Barbara Boxer, perhaps because this spot was just so baa-d.
Fanelli Rounds Up Terrorists
Racial profiling. Rounding up “terrorists.” Arab stereotypes. Those are just a few of the highlights—or lowlights—of Republican Dan Fanelli’s 2010 ad in his run to unseat Rep. Alan Grayson. While many crazy campaign ads are silly, this one is anything but. Fanelli demonstrates how to identify a terrorist at the airport, quipping self-referentially that “if a good looking, ripped guy without much hair was flying airplanes into the twin towers, I’d have no problem being pulled out of line at the airport.” If Fanelli’s encouragement of racial profiling isn’t over the top enough, his tied-up “terrorist” takes the cake.
Dale Peterson Gets Trigger-Happy
Is it possible to take the Constitution too seriously? In this 2010 spot, the Alabama agricultural commissioner candidate proves that yes, it just might be possible to take the Second Amendment too much to heart. After Peterson lost his bid for the position, he endorsed a fellow GOP candidate with this gun-toting ad. In the spot, Peterson fires his shotgun in the direction of someone who tries to take down a campaign sign. This video earned the former Marine a “worst person” win from Keith Olbermann, but we’re guessing opponents kept away from those campaign signs in the end.