Rick Perry's 'Strong' Ad Stirs Opposition from Perry Pollster, Gay-Rights Supporters -- VIDEOBy Theresa Poulson | Thursday, December 8, 2011 | 12:12 p.m.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s newest television ad criticizing the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was created over the objections of at least one top staff member, sources in the Perry campaign tell The Huffington Post.
The television ad features Perry condemning the war on Christmas (and faith) and criticizing the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. "There's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in our military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas and pray in school," Perry says in the ad.
When production of the ad was in progress several weeks ago, Perry's pollster, Tony Fabrizio, called it "nuts," according to an e-mail sent from Fabrizio to the ad's main creator, longtime GOP operative Nelson Warfield. In a separate e-mail to The Huffington Post, Warfield confirmed that the ad was made over Fabrizio's objections.
"Tony was against it from the get-go," Warfield wrote. "It was the source of some extended conversation in the campaign. To be very clear: That spot was mine from writing the poll question to test[ing] it to drafting the script to overseeing production."
Watch the original Perry spot below, and click through for more provocative ads of the 2012 presidential campaign:
The attempt at appealling to evangelicals in Iowa has also drawn fire from gay-rights supporters online. The ad has received more than 170,000 dislikes on YouTube as of Thursday morning (possibly due to traffic driven through Reddit) and only about 3,700 likes.
And it has already inspired at least one YouTube spoof, by comedian Andy Cobb.
"Honestly, if kids 'observed' Christmas any harder in schools than they already do, they would be elves," Cobb writes on his YouTube page. "And liberals don't hate religion, we're just too busy drum circling, same-sex marrying and not owning guns to bother."
Watch the spoof: