Adwatch: Rick Perry's new ad, "Lazy"

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2011 4:35 PM
Adwatch: Rick Perry's new ad, "Lazy"

TITLE: "Lazy"

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: On national cable and on Iowa broadcast and cable.

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with footage of President Barack Obama being interviewed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Hawaii last Saturday. "We've been a little bit lazy I think over the last couple of decades," Obama says.

Rick Perry, wearing a denim shirt, appears and speaks to the camera. "Can you believe that? That's what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That's pathetic. It's time to clean house in Washington."

The Texas governor says he would push for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget as president and if Congress refused he would "cut their pay and send them home." He concludes by saying Obama's "socialist" policies are bankrupting the U.S.

Analysis: Republican presidential hopeful Perry takes Obama's comment out of context.

Obama was speaking to a group of CEOs about the challenges of attracting foreign investment in the U.S., not about individuals or their economic challenges.

"There are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity _ our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture," Obama said. "But we've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We've kind of taken for granted, well, people will want to come here and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America."

Perry is using the comment to portray Obama as out of touch, even contemptuous, of ordinary Americans. Mitt Romney, a rival for the Republican presidential nomination, also criticized the remark this week.

In the ad, Perry then pivots to a critique of Congress, a theme he stressed this week even though Republicans control the House. It allows him to remind voters that he's an outsider in Washington and to ride public disgust with Congress, which polls show is at an all-time high. But Perry, as president, could not unilaterally enact a balanced budget amendment or cut lawmakers' pay.

Perry and many other Republicans have labeled Obama's economic policies as "socialist." It's true the president has tried to spur the economy with large investments of taxpayer money, such as with the economic stimulus package and bailouts for the bank and U.S. auto industries. But socialism is an almost-total rejection of capitalism and free markets, which Obama does not support.


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