Michigan Republican To Run Hilariously Stupid, Probably Offensive, Super Bowl Ad

Former Republican Congressman Pete Hoekstra, now a candidate to replace Debbie Stabenow as one of Michigan’s Senators, apparently thinks it’s a good idea to run this ad during the Super Bowl on Michigan’s NBC affiliates:

This ad truly has it all. The racially stereotyped Asian woman speaking accented English, the dumb names, and yet the campaign is justifying it:

The campaign of former Rep. Peter Hoekstra for U.S. Senate explained a racially charged Super Bowl advertisement they developed – complete with an Asian actress speaking in broken English – as a reflection of China’s increasingly competitive education system.

The campaign of the Michigan Republican hit racial notes as a new advertisement argued that the policies of incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)  were helping China to the detriment of the United States.

The advertisement, which will run in Michigan during the Super Bowl and afterward, features an Asian female with a conical straw hat riding a bike through a rice paddy field.

“Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good [sic],” the actress says, in broken English.

“Thank you Michigan Senator Debbie ‘Spend-it-now’. Debbie spend so much American money [sic],” the actress says, without a Chinese accent. “You borrow more and more, from us… we take your jobs. Thank you Debbie ‘Spend-it-now.'”

The Hoekstra campaign called the advertisement “satirical” and explained the broken English in the video as a reflection of China’s increasingly competitive education system.

“You have a Chinese girl speaking English – I want to hit on the education system, essentially. The fact that a Chinese girl is speaking English is a testament to how they can compete with us, when an American boy of the same age speaking Mandarin is absolutely insane, or unthinkable right now,” Hoekstra spokesperson Paul Ciaramitaro told POLITICO. “It exhibits another way in which China is competing with us globally.”

“I think that China is our global competitor and the facts are what they are. They hold $1.1 trillion of our debt, their economy is booming, ours is not. It’s not a racial overtone to compare yourself to competitors on the global stage,” added Ciaramitaro. “I think the viewer of an ad is going to recognize satire. … I wouldn’t agree of the characterization [of the ad] as racial.”

The advertisement also features a video of Hoekstra, saying, “I think this race for Michigan Senate is between Debbie ‘spend-it-now’ and Pete ‘spend-it-not’ – I’m Pete ‘spend-it-not’ Hoekstra.”

The ad buy, according to Hoekstra’s campaign, begins Sunday and will run for two weeks. The advertisement has already run in the Detroit, and will run in every one of Michigan’s television markets.

“The concept is highlighting Stabenow’s abysmal spending record, and the real-life consequences of that. The campaign decided to go with a satirical approach that would generate some buzz and discussion,” said Ciaramitaro.

Yea I get they’re trying to use satire, but isn’t satire supposed to be funny?

I’m no campaign media expert, but this strikes me as an ad that could very easily backfire on a candidate and, at the very least, belongs right up the with “I’m Not A Witch” in the annals of bad campaign commercials

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Now what were you saying Doug about the crazies being untypical of where the GOP is ?

  2. grumpy realist says:

    Guess Hoekstra has decided he doesn’t need the American-Asian vote, hmmm? (Hell, I’m offended by that ad and am New England WASP.)

  3. @grumpy realist:

    The Asian-American population of Michigan is about 2.4% according to the most recent census so I guess he made a calculation there.

  4. @Brummagem Joe:

    This isn’t an example of crazy, this is an example of dumb.

  5. Chris A says:

    The land looks like Vietnam not China, which is sort of hilarious. Though according to the AP, it’s actually filmed in California, which is weird if you’re running as a senator for Michigan. Even from a practical standpoint it makes no sense.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    It’s nice to see that Republicans are adding Asian-Americans to the long list of people who will never vote GOP no matter what, ever.

  7. You have a Chinese girl speaking English – I want to hit on the education system, essentially. The fact that a Chinese girl is speaking English is a testament to how they can compete with us, when an American boy of the same age speaking Mandarin is absolutely insane, or unthinkable right now

    Mostly because English is a much simpler language than Chinese. There’s a reason English has become an international language while Mandarin hasn’t even managed to spread throughout all of its home country.

  8. ernieyeball says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Well there is “crazy”, “dumb”, and to quote you again “Why are the Republicans being so mind-numbingly stupid…”
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/rick-perry-hey-lets-go-back-to-iraq/

    What’s left?

  9. Anon says:

    As a Chinese-American, I don’t find this incredibly offense, but…it doesn’t make much sense either. What? China is threatening the US economy due to its great rice paddies and vast rural population?

  10. I used to be a Republican says:

    The first thing the Grand Ole Party needs to do to get me back is to put forth candidates who believe in telling the truth. This ad is a perfect example of the lack of truth. Government spending isn’t making us weaker. Its the trade deals cut for the benefit of business access to cheap labor (have you ever really read one of them?) and approved by Congress and the President, (let’s see, who was that? Republican Congress and Bill Clinton, or Republican Congress and George “Duh” Bush). Sure we could continue to kowtow to the rich in our party by doing such things as ending government spending on the poor, and some of those pesky government regs, {a la Newt Gingrich’s approach -“they need to learn a work ethic anyway”- of doing away with child labor laws}. Kids everywhere love to do something productive, but they are also savvy enough to know when they are being used. Why aren’t the Republican rank and file that smart? Was this really the Party that freed the slaves?. And don’t forget, for you true believers, Saddam really did have Weapons of Mass Destruction, no matter what the facts say.

  11. DRS says:

    What? China is threatening the US economy due to its great rice paddies and vast rural population?

    Actually it’s due to the conical hats. Too cool for skool…

  12. A voice from another precinct says:

    Well, I liked the ad! I thought it was cute in that snarky “MadTV” way. As to voting for Pete? Well, fortunately, I don’t have to decide about that at all (and thay may work out well for him, too).

    Education? To quote Jon Lovitz, “yeah, that’s the ticket, education, yeah.”

  13. Franklin says:

    I’m from Michigan, and, well, you guys just learned what we already knew about Mr. Hoekstra.

  14. superdestroyer says:

    It is obvious that Hoekstra has never heard of a focus group or test marketing.

    On the other hand, how does one attack Democrats for tax and spend policies without being called crazy or a racist.

  15. @superdestroyer:

    On the other hand, how does one attack Democrats for tax and spend policies without being called crazy or a racist.

    LOL, it’s about time the right tried this thing called “math.”

  16. Nikki says:

    @superdestroyer: Well, I can’t speak for others, but for me, I find that I can avoid being identified as a racist by not using racist language and imagery. I betcha that works pretty well for most people.

  17. mantis says:

    On the other hand, how does one attack Democrats for tax and spend policies without being called crazy or a racist.

    You could try not being a crazy racist.

  18. My students laughed when I showed it to them. I think part of the problem is that liberals have no sense of humor and don’t really find things funny unless they are cruel or mean (see Obama’s stand up routine from the National Press Core dinner).

    Hoekstra’s argument is that Stabenow has voted over and over for budgets which have the United States borrow increasingly larger amounts from China, which sends them millions in interest each year and strengthens their currency and gives them considerable foreign reserves. As a consquence, their economy grows stronger as ours grows weaker.

    It does scare me a little to know that every year I send more and more of my tax money to support a regime that has horrible human rights violations and considerable environmental destruction and still has considerable poverty while many grow rich. Anyone who supports poor people, the environment, or human rights should be donating to support Hoekstra in his coming campaign against Stabmenow.

  19. anjin-san says:

    This isn’t an example of crazy, this is an example of dumb.

    Actually, it’s an example of both.

    My students laughed when I showed it to them.

    So you are looking to children to be your guide in these matters? I still remember the first time we heard a child with a bad stutter in my class, way back when I was a kid. We laughed our asses off. She was crushed, just completely wiped out – I still remember the look on her face.

    I’m kind of glad that I don’t have any kids in your class.

  20. john personna says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    Hoekstra’s argument is that Stabenow has voted over and over for budgets which have the United States borrow increasingly larger amounts from China, which sends them millions in interest each year and strengthens their currency and gives them considerable foreign reserves. As a consquence, their economy grows stronger as ours grows weaker.

    Good Lord. We can borrow from China at a 0.13 % interest (today’s 1 yr rate), and you think that is a good deal for THEM?

    I’d say go back to school, if you know, you weren’t already there 😉

  21. Franklin says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: You sound like a Hoekstra campaign worker, no offense.

  22. @john personna: “PolitiFact Virginia found U.S. Treasury Department reports that show China holds about $1.165 trillion of the national debt. In the most recent 12-month period available, the U.S. spent about $197 billion in interest payments on its debt. Since China owns about 12.8 percent of the U.S. debt, PolitiFact Virginia assumed that country received a similar percentage of the debt interest payments, which for fiscal year 2010 would total nearly $69 million a day. But since the debt increased in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, PolitiFact Virginia did some more math and determined the interest payments to China would be $74.4 million a day, which earned Forbes a True rating on its Truth-O-Meter. Two days of interest payments would total nearly $150 million.”
    http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2011/sep/09/tom-graves/does-jet-claim-fly-straight/

    I think that the United States sending $74 million every day to China in interest payments is a pretty good good deal for them- they don’t do any work and get a lot of money, meanwhile our citizens work really hard and send that money to China.

    I’m surprised you don’t think this is a good deal for China- do you understand what the word ‘good’ means?

  23. An Interested Party says:

    My students laughed when I showed it to them.

    That they did that and that you didn’t correct them only shows what a bad influence you are on them…hopefully they’ll recieve better instruction once they leave your classroom…

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @mantis:

    I will take that as a no. There is no way that progressives will discuss limiting cutting government programs without playng the race card. Any discussion to propose spending cuts will immediately cause progressives to discuss how cold-hearted conservatives are and that it is just about not wanting to spend money on blacks.

    I guess since progressive elites see themselves as the order givers in the coming one-party-state, it will be impossible for them to tolerate disagreements.