Compliments of CanWest News Service
Wonder how "shrub" harper feels about his big brother bush now??
Canada's reputation suffers collateral damage in heated U.S. mid-terms
Sheldon Alberts - CanWest News Service
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
WASHINGTON - A Republican attack ad stirring controversy in the U.S. mid-term elections does a drive-by smear on Canada, suggesting America's northern neighbour is a do-nothing country on world affairs.
The television ad has sparked denunciations from both the Democratic candidate it targets and the Republican candidate it is designed to help.
Produced by the Republican National Committee, the ''man on the street'' ad features a hefty man wearing suspenders and a ball cap, commenting sarcastically on his view of Democratic foreign policy.
''Let Canada take care of North Korea. They're not busy,'' the man says.
The ad has been airing since Friday in Tennessee, where Republican Senate candidate Bob Corker is challenging Democrat Harold Ford for the seat being vacated by Senator Bill Frist.
The hotly contested race has featured some of the nastiest advertising in the country, largely because it is among a handful of Senate contests likely to determine which party controls Congress after the Nov. 7 election.
Just how Canada got caught up in the mid-term mudslinging remains a mystery. The Republican National Committee did not respond to calls from CanWest News Service.
But the ad fosters stereotypes about Canada's engagement in international affairs that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has tried hard to dispel.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Embassy in Washington mounted an advertising campaign highlighting Canada's role as America's ally in Afghanistan, where 43 Canadians have died since 2002.
David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, voiced outrage in the last federal election campaign when the Liberal party criticized President George W. Bush.
Although the Republican ad's reference to Canada seems almost incidental, it appears already to have backfired because of its overall tone.
Apart from the dig at Canada, it features clips from a bare-shouldered blond who says: ''I met Harold at the Playboy party,'' a reference to the Democrat's attendance at a Super Bowl party hosted by Playboy magazine. ''Harold, call me,'' she whispers into the camera.
In another clip, a man in dressed in a hunter's camouflage says: ''Harold's right. I do have too many guns.''
A spokeswoman for Corker's campaign told CanWest News Service that the Republican candidate has ''condemned the ad, and doesn't think it's an appropriate ad.''
Under U.S. election laws, Corker is not allowed to communicate directly to the Republican national campaign on advertising.
But Tom Ingram, Corker's campaign manager, on Monday sent Tennessee TV stations a direct request asking them to stop airing the ad.
''We are disappointed that the advertisement continues to run and request that station managers across the state strongly consider pulling this advertisement immediately.''
A Republican spokeswoman, Camille Anderson, told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal the party had no plan to remove the ad.
''The RNC stands by this advertisement, and I have no reason to believe that it will not continue to air on television stations across the state,'' Anderson said.
Just another example of how the repuglicans can be trusted . . . . Let's see, there's the softwood lumber deal, the "You need a passport/ You don't need a passport to cross the border" situation, the Canadian citizen sent to Syria by US authorities for imprisonment and torture, etc., etc., etc. Surely Canadians will rethink the Prime Minister's cozying up to these jerks . . . . . Won't they??