Politics

The Most Provocative Political Ads of 2011—VIDEOS

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Jenna Zwang
Oct. 14, 2011, 6:22 a.m.

With polit­ic­al cam­paigns be­com­ing in­creas­ingly cut­throat, ads of­ten gain more no­tori­ety than the can­did­ates’ policies. We’ve as­sembled some of the cam­paign spots that have caused a stir so far in 2011.

This ad from Rick Perry aims to high­light sim­il­ar­it­ies between rival Mitt Rom­ney and Pres­id­ent Obama, pin­ning Obama’s con­tro­ver­sial health care law on Rom­ney’s shoulders. The ad paints Obama and Rom­ney as friends and co-con­spir­at­ors.

Ads play­ing on the fear of Chinese dom­in­ance over Amer­ica have be­come a re­cent ad­di­tion to polit­ic­al cam­paigns. This one is from Mark Amod­ei’s 2011 spe­cial elec­tion cam­paign in Nevada’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, which he won hand­ily.

This ad by Ron Paul com­pares his own early en­dorse­ment of Ron­ald Re­agan, the golden boy of the Re­pub­lic­an Party, with former Demo­crat Rick Perry’s en­dorse­ment of Al Gore in 1988.

This spot, which has been de­nounced as one of the most sex­ist and ra­cist ads of all time, ran solely on You­Tube. Sponsored by the con­ser­vat­ive group Turn Right USA, the ad su­per­im­poses Demo­crat Janice Hahn‘s face onto that of a strip­per and ac­cuses her of help­ing gang mem­bers get out of pris­on to “rape and kill again.” Craig Huey, Hahn’s op­pon­ent in the spe­cial elec­tion in Cali­for­nia’s 36th Dis­trict, denied any con­nec­tion to the ad. Hahn won the Ju­ly elec­tion.

Us­ing clips of a speech Obama de­livered to Con­gress in Septem­ber, the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee calls on Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress to pass the pres­id­ent’s jobs bill.

Demo­crat Dan Adler’s Korean/Jew­ish ad­vert­ise­ment garnered na­tion­al at­ten­tion—with some call­ing it “cringe-worthy” and “vaguely ra­cist”—but it didn’t trans­late in­to votes. Run­ning a long-shot cam­paign in Cali­for­nia’s 36th Dis­trict, Adler re­ceived 0.54 per­cent of the vote.

This ad from Rick Perry aims to high­light sim­il­ar­it­ies between rival Mitt Rom­ney and Pres­id­ent Obama, pin­ning Obama’s con­tro­ver­sial health care law on Rom­ney’s shoulders. The ad paints Obama and Rom­ney as friends and co-con­spir­at­ors.

Ads play­ing on the fear of Chinese dom­in­ance over Amer­ica have be­come a re­cent ad­di­tion to polit­ic­al cam­paigns. This one is from Mark Amod­ei’s 2011 spe­cial elec­tion cam­paign in Nevada’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, which he won hand­ily.

Rick Perry takes a shot at Obama with this ad, which con­tends that none of the change Obama prom­ised has de­livered. Us­ing strik­ing im­ages of run-down build­ings to con­trast with Obama’s words of hope, Perry ends the ad by por­tray­ing him­self as a true Amer­ic­an.

Former Texas Sec­ret­ary of State Ro­ger Wil­li­ams re­leased this ad in Au­gust 2011 as part of his cam­paign for Texas’ newly cre­ated 33rd Con­gres­sion­al seat. The hu­mor­ous ad, which de­picts Demo­crats as “don­keys” who want “handouts,” went vir­al in con­ser­vat­ive circles.

Rom­ney’s ad shows scenes of Obama on elec­tion night in Chica­go while high­light­ing dire cir­cum­stances now fa­cing the city’s res­id­ents.

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