By Jessica Taylor // December 15, 2011 | 12:01 p.m.
North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson is going up on air during tonight's debate with an ad airing on Fox slamming not just President Obama, but Mitt Romney as well, whom the ad calls a "cowardly sell-out."
Bemoaning liberal attacks on the family, the ad shows unflattering photos of Obama as well as a particularly disturbing image of what appears to be an Occupy Wall Street protestor defecating on an American flag.
"In three short years, this man has destroyed the national economy and driven the national debt to over $15 trillion," says the narrator. "Barack Obama has done to the Constitution what his filthy, liberal friends have done to the American flag.
"He's done it with the complicity of cowardly, sell-out Republicans like the one who said he hopes the moderates will control the Senate, not the Jesse Helmses," the ad continues, as a photo of Romney appears on screen.
Robinson, who's run for Congress in the Tar Heel state twice before, is known for his shocking ads, including a one from his 2006 campaign against Democratic Rep. Brad Miller in the 13th District.
Robinson boasts that he's the "black Jesse Helms" and touts the endorsement of the late conservative North Carolina senator's son as well as Michael Reagan. He ends the ad with this kicker: "I approve this message, because the only thing I have in common with Barack Obama is a good tan."
Robinson campaign manager Steve Arnold said the campaign has purchased airtime to run the ad in several media markets in the district during tonight's debate on Fox, including Charlotte and Greensboro, but wouldn't disclose the the amount of the ad buy. He said Robinson wouldn't endorse in the GOP presidential primary, though.
Robinson is locked in a very competitive -- and growing -- Republican primary for the right to face Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell in a GOP-leaning district that became even more Republican in redistricting. Former Congressional Chief of Staff Richard Hudson, Weddington Town Councilman Dan Barry, dentist Scott Keadle, state Rep. Fred Steen and surgeon John Whitley are all seeking the nomination.
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