A racist ad?

During the Super Bowl in Michigan, the republican candidate Pete Hoekstra ran this ad above against Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow. The goal was to depict Stabenow as a “big spender” and how her actions  hurt the US economy which in turn benefited the Chinese economy. The ad centers around an immigrant, as see with the broken English, who thanks Stabenow for spending American money which helped grow the China economy and take American jobs. The background is depicted with rice paddies along with Chinese music playing.

This ad has sparked race debates, which the Asian and Islander American vote group responded by saying, It is very disturbing that Mr. Hoekstra’s campaign chose to use harmful negative stereotypes that intrinsically encourage anti-Asian sentiment.”

Hoekstra maintained his position that the ad was not racist stating, “We have an economic growth rate around two percent. China’s coming off a nine percent growth rate…This ad hits the Democrats exactly where it hurts.”

This ad was produced by Fred Davis, who has been at the center of controversy before with his ads. Some people believe that even bad publicity is good publicity, which may or may not be the case with this one. This race is definitely gaining media attention now, even though it is over a “racist” ad. We have already seen a primary full of attack ads, but does this one cross the line? Obama was asked in his NBC interview this week whether he thought the general election was going to be filled with more negative ads. He kind of dodged the question, and didn’t give a definite answer. Rubio came out and said “No candidate has run more negative ads in American history than Barack Obama did in 2008.” This was fact checked as Mostly True, because though he ran the most negative ads, he also ran the most ads in general.

In a season full of negative ads, was Hoekstra’s ad appropriate?

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