DETROIT — Republican Senate hopeful Pete Hoekstra on Thursday launched a campaign ad days after taking heat for a spot that ran in Michigan before the Super Bowl featuring a young Asian woman speaking broken English.
The new 30-second ad takes aim at Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, as the first did, but features a voiceover by Hoekstra and an image of the U.S. Capitol. Hoekstra spokesman Paul Ciaramitaro said the new commercial "is being added to the rotation" but doesn't replace the ad that debuted Sunday.
Many Republicans and Democrats criticized the earlier ad, which opens with the sound of a gong and shows the woman riding a bike on a path lined by rice paddies. She thanks "Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow" for helping China's economy improve.
"There's no more time for 'Debbie Spenditnow,'" Hoekstra says in the new ad. "I'm Pete 'Spenditnot' Hoekstra and I approve this message."
Clark Durant, one of Hoekstra's rivals in the Republican primary, released a statement Thursday saying an Asian-American Republican County Commissioner from Washtenaw County switched her support to Durant. Alicia Ping said in the statement that she found Hoekstra's first ad "demeaning" and "hypocritical."
Durant also launched a 30-second ad Thursday in which he criticized Hoekstra's ad and both Hoekstra and Stabenow for overspending in Washington.
Ciaramitaro said Hoekstra was unavailable for comment Thursday, but earlier this week he told reporters that his ad's "insensitive" only to the spending philosophy of Stabenow and Democratic President Barack Obama. Hoekstra said he knew he was taking "an aggressive approach" with the ad.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said in a statement Thursday that "Hoekstra is trying to blame others for the country's debt," but he voted "to add trillions to the deficit" while in Congress.
Earlier Hoekstra ad: http://bit.ly/x4WW9w
New Hoekstra ad: http://bit.ly/ztLdJd
Durant ad: http://bit.ly/yaTpMs
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