Rick Perry is the perfect republican presidential candidate. He is backed by people with huge potential for campaign contributions, he has passed the Donald Trump litmus tests, and he has a campaign staff that develops false television advertisements. Perry also meets the oft reported GOP requirement of ‘attractive’. How many times have you heard, “He has good hair?”
The last well-known set of GOP ads meant to scare, also emanated from the GOP: The “Swift Boat” and the Roger Ailes “Willie Horton” ads. Both ad campaigns lead to Bush administrations. The Swift Boat ad is arguably responsible for the second George W. Bush term and current state of economic disaster.
Perry’s campaign has released two ads that are centered around a theme that is a flat-out lie. The first television ad followed Perry’s Obama “Zero” (created zero jobs) statement during the CNN/Tea Party debate.
Perry’s false claim about the poverty rate follows his false claim during his second debate appearance, when he said Obama’s stimulus measure “created zero jobs” since it was signed in February 2009. That untrue statement was called out not only by us, but other fact-finders as well, including debate cosponsor CNN.
His second ad is much the same. It does, however, include adroit plays on numbers and words. Though the ad fails to fall into the realm of ‘flat-out lie’. It most assuredly ‘smells like a duck and quacks like a duck’.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes another wildly false claim in a new Web ad — saying that the U.S. poverty rate has hit an “all-time high.” In fact, the rate is the highest since 1993, but 7.3 percentage points lower than it was in 1959, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent annual tallies.
As indicated by FactCheck.org, the information in the ad will fall on minds that are tarnished by consumer confidence poll numbers and lower approval ratings for President Obama, the latest ad has potential for ‘believable’.
Let’s look at bit closer via the competent analysis of Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org.
Update, Sept. 21: The Perry campaign also did some creative editing at the beginning of this ad, where Obama is heard saying: “I love these folks who say, well, this is Obama’s economy. That’s fine. Give it to me.” But that’s not exactly the way Obama really put it, though the editing is done so seamlessly that few if any listeners would suspect his remarks had been truncated.
What the president really said — in Michigan on July 14, 2009, after GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy — was this (with portions deleted by Perry campaign in bold):
Obama, July 14, 2009: I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama’s economy. That’s fine. Give it to me.
What the Perry campaign edited out was Obama’s reference to those in Perry’s party whom he accused of helping to create “this mess.”
At another point in the ad, the president is heard saying: “Despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure a year ago, our economy is growing again.” But what’s not apparent from the ad is that Obama said that in May 2010, a few days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy had added 290,000 new jobs the month before (later revised downward slightly to 277,000). But listeners might get the idea that the president said it recently.
Everyone of voting age, across the globe, knows that politicians ‘stretch’ information for effectiveness. I believe about 80 percent of campaign promises and mantra from the left; I am an obvious liberal. Experience has taught me that a similar level of assimilation and belief of campaign information from the right falls far shy of 80 percent believable. Television and internet ads developed by the Perry campaign may stand as comparable to George Bush’s ‘Swift Boat’ ad campaign (that he eventually pulled from the campaign).
My curiosity about the legality of ‘lies’ in campaign ads was disappointingly answered via a three-year old FactCheck.org article. The article was also developed and published by Brooks Jackson. Lying in political ads is apparently a First Amendment right.
U.S. Constitution withstanding, this is a clear case of unintended consequence. The old argument of about Constitutional ’intent’ and ‘meaning’ is very relevant when we consider the current social and political climate. Did the creators of the Constitution not recognize the future downsides of unrestricted speech for purpose of political gain?
The problem becomes a major issue that impacts the greater society if people such as Perry are unrestricted in scope and level of political lies. The problem is exponentially more serious when we consider the current political climate. A climate I assert has gone progressively downhill since the early 1970′s administration of Richard Nixon. We have people who are willing to accept or buy into any utterance form some who have prominent platforms.
How many right-wing sympathizers will question Perry’s misinformation? If the information fits their paradigm or ‘believable meters’, it becomes fact in their minds. The non-facts spread and people are then susceptible to poor decisions. If we need more evidence of my hypothesis, do a close review of the impact of the ‘Willie Horton’ and ‘Swift Boat’ ads. After you think about ‘Swift Boat’ and the admitted lies from some who sat for filming the ad, I ask that you then think about the Bush Administration second term.
And then…look at where we are now!
Edited by Wendy Gittleson