Rick Perry’s new ad “Strong” has quickly become known by another name: “Perry’s anti-gay ad.”
“There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry said in the clip, which debuted on Wednesday after his campaign announced a $1 million ad buy in Iowa.
As Richard Oppel Jr. of the New York Times reported, the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay activist group, was quick to criticize the ad, saying it “was wrong for Governor Perry to assume being a person of faith does not afford one to support equality.” R. Clarke Cooper, the group’s executive director, also told Oppel, “Governor Perry is running to be commander-in-chief, not theocrat-in-chief.”
On YouTube, the ad received well over 100,000 “dislikes” (compared to fewer than 3,000 “likes”), with gay rights activists and progressive bloggers using social media to tilt that balance. At Dallas Voice, John Wright even instructed people on how to flag the video for inappropriate content.
You can also report it as offensive by clicking on the Flag button. Under “Select a Reason,” go to “Hateful or Abusive Content” and then “Promotes Hatred or Violence.” YouTube will ask you to indicate what the hate speech is about, and you can select “Sexual Orientation.”
Perry is “hoping that rashness and bigotry will win him votes,” wrote Ray Fuentes at PolicyMic, who nevertheless conceded that the ad’s blatant attempt to reach evangelical voters was “tactically brilliant.”
But the campaign’s media buy may have reached beyond its target audience. As Iowan Jessica Vanden Berg tweeted, “Irony…Rick Perry’s anti-gay ad just played on Ellen in the Des Moines media market.”