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Post Partisan
Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 09/22/2011

Rick Perry ad is ridiculous


Rick Perry just released a ridiculous new campaign advertisement, set to run during Thursday’s GOP debate. The first half is rapid-fire images of empty streets, shuttered homes and vacant train cars, with a detached voice calling President Obama “President Zero.” The second half is a heroic tribute to Perry punctuated by mostly substance-free snippets from his first campaign speech.

This Michael Bay-inspired montage makes Obama’s America resemble a Mad Max wasteland, and it uses slick video editing and over-dramatic music to paint Perry as a figure of Optimus Prime-like vision — really? — which are just the obvious things wrong with it.

Perry can’t seem to say much without wild overstatement. Visuals are one thing. Content is another. And, inasmuch as there is content in this ad, it refers to the falsehood Perry repeated in the last GOP presidential debate — that Obama’s stimulus created “zero jobs.” It’s not true.

There’s a pattern emerging: Perry says something outrageous, he’s widely condemned, but then he doubles down, even more sure than he ever was. He did that after he suggested that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was “treasonous” without a sliver of evidence or even, apparently, a firm grasp of what “treason” is. He seems to be doing it again with easily-checkable stimulus estimates.

“It’s right because I say so” isn’t a national campaign strategy. It’s ignorance, cynicism, or both.

Update, 1:57 p.m.: A sharp-eyed reader points out that there are about two-seconds of moving fine text in the ad specifying that the “zero jobs” claim is based on the employment report for the month of August. And the overlapping voices repeating “zero jobs”? The narrator calling Obama “President Zero”? All that refers to a single month’s jobs report? The ad’s pace hardly gives the viewer the chance to interpret its content as anything but a wider condemnation of the Obama presidency, with words identical to those Perry has used in the past to do just that.

So, while so much of the ad feels like Perry is doubling down on his earlier “zero jobs” claims, it might just be a different instance of wild overstatement.

Apologies, regardless, for not catching Perry’s caveat the first two times through.

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 09/22/2011

 
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