It takes a particularly offensive ad to outshine the onslaught of flatulent animals and cleavage-based commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. But that's exactly what Republican Senate hopeful Pete Hoekstra managed to do when he ran a blatantly racist Super Bowl ad attacking his Democratic rival, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.
The ad features a young Asian woman riding a bicycle next to some rice paddies. In broken English, she thanks Debbie "Spend it now" for spending so much money that the U.S. federal government has to borrow heavily from China. "Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs," says the young woman. "Thank you Debbie 'Spend it now!'"
The ad was immediately condemned by Asian-American political figures and a group representing Asian and Pacific Islander voters in Hoekstra's home state of Michigan. For his part, Hoekstra refused to back down, accusing Democrats of playing the "race card" whenever they lack a real argument. "It's a very straightforward message," Hoekstra said. "There's nothing racist in this ad. This is all about holding Debbie accountable for her reckless spending" [source: Bingham].