Video: Harold Ford says RNC ad wasn’t raaaaaaacist; Update: Steele implies that it was racist

posted at 12:45 pm on October 29, 2006 by Allahpundit

Wallace dealt him the race card — and he politely declined to play it. What kind of Democrat is this?

One with a national future, perhaps.

He does say the ad was “smutty,” which is an odd critique coming from a guy who parties with playmates. Although, not really, I guess.

Wallace also mentioned the retarded nutroots objections to the allegedly racist “drums” radio ad; Ford alludes to that in the middle of the clip.

Update (Bryan): As one of the comments says, “Well played.” Ford’s Playboy party gambit has been well played indeed. The whole reason the Playboy party figures in the ad is that Ford had been asked whether he was at that party and he had repeatedly denied it. Being there apparently didn’t figure well into his strategy of going for the social con vote, so he denied. But then it turned out that he was there, and the RNC ad cleverly brought that home. Maybe the ad was too clever, though, since while it was funny it gave the DNC a weak race angle they could use to distract voters from the reason the bunny is relevant: Ford lied to the voters, and in a way that suggests his social con strategy is just an act. No one’s talking about that now. So he and the DNC get a well played, and the RNC imho get a minus. They had an issue and they muffed it.

Update: Michael Steele slammed the RNC ad today on Rob Redding’s radio show.

Breaking on Hot Air



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A lot of the nutroots don’t like Ford because he’s not nutty enough. He seems to be smart enough to not try and solidify that vote.

frankj on October 29, 2006 at 12:54 PM

eek! who is this savage jungle man? (just kidding.)

“It was smut!” uh, not really.

Free Kurdistan on October 29, 2006 at 12:58 PM

He’s outraged–outraged, I say–at the smut. This guy strikes me as very Clintonian… you know, with the triangulation. Attack Corker over the ad, while throwing the evangelicals a bone. Well played.

DaveS on October 29, 2006 at 1:05 PM

I know smut. Smut is a friend of mine. That, sir, is no smut.

I have to give him credit for not claiming racism in the ad, though, and not being batshit nutroot crazy.

ReubenJCogburn on October 29, 2006 at 1:05 PM

I’m no Democrat, but Ford is very sharp and careful in his responses – very strategic, and one of the few Dems who can carry on a conversation without looking like a complete idiot. To quote DaveS: “Well played”.

thedecider on October 29, 2006 at 1:12 PM

Did anybody hear Ford claiming that his daddy didn’t say, “cracker”?

Ford tried to spin that what his daddy really said was, “tracker”.

Uh, yeah, right.

We’ve all heard black guys in the south call white guys, “trackers”.


Good Lord, its another Billy-Bob Clinton in the making.


The Machine on October 29, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Ack! I’ve been censored? Hahaha!

DannoJyd on October 29, 2006 at 1:52 PM

I have to admit that Ford is pretty smooth. When I first saw the woman in the ad, all I thought was “Playboy Bunny.” What the liberals saw was “A WHITE woman telling an African American to call! RACISM!!!” It was disgusting seeing Wallace try to throw race into the ad; it was nice to see a democrat finally refuse to follow (although he may just feel that there is enough “racism” talk out there that he can follow the high road).

rmgraha on October 29, 2006 at 1:57 PM

Ack! I’ve been censored? Hahaha!

DannoJyd on October 29, 2006 at 1:52 PM

I’m sure the Dixie Chicks have room for you on their tour, not like they have any fans left to cart around… lol

BadBrad on October 29, 2006 at 1:58 PM

Harold only objects to the smutty part. Is he saying the rest of the ad is accurate . . .Harold, Harold

Texyank on October 29, 2006 at 2:01 PM

Ford was the one who ran against Pelosi for Speaker. I have to say, I actually like the guy too.

Spassvogel on October 29, 2006 at 2:29 PM

As Dems go, Ford isn’t bad. Corker is such a complete and total nincompoop, I was thinking about voting for Ford … until the press conference crash. This, however, moved him back up a few notches. Still haven’t decided yet. There is still some third party candidate out there that would equate to none of the above.

But then, Ford goes and steps on his crank in a rather awesome way. Apparently, he forgot that we are allies with Australia … or maybe he has intel that says they are really pissed about that Vegemite thing … or South Park macking on Steve Irwin was the last straw. Dunno … but it is HI-larious!

Australia named a nuclear threat

I hope he can find a graceful way out of that one!


LissaKay on October 29, 2006 at 2:34 PM


Similar situation here in southern Indiana. The Democratic challenger is a likeable guy, pro-life, the local sheriff. In most years I might vote for him. But I fear what may happen once he gets to Washington, and how much he will be under the thumb of Pelosi et al.

mikeyboss on October 29, 2006 at 2:46 PM

I suppose he played it well considering Wallace, as well as many others before him, never bother to ask why anyone would think the ‘bimbo’ would consider doing an interview in the raw on a public street. Even the bimbo ELF’s are modest enough to wear skin colored body suits (much to my dismay) from what I’ve seen in evening news video clips.

I would have thought people would at least have tossed it off to a Playboy bunny wearing their trademark outfit to an interview … don’t they wear those at all times, anyway? Maybe the GOP could have avoided ‘smutty message at 7’ meme if they’d bought time during Entertainment Tonight, but then who’d realize those bare shoulders were a part of a political ad?

I guess I’ll resign myself to Ford expecting the people of Tenessee to think something out as poorly as he and his party comrades do. I wonder, though, if there’s a political advantage to putting out a second ad satirizing this bit of stupidity — “Of course, I’m voting for Harold. Doesn’t everyone know Tenesseean women go about naked on the public streets?” Personally, I’d put in a few with burqhas saying ” … if your shoulders show in public, you ARE naked!”, but that’s why I’m not in political advertising.

Dusty on October 29, 2006 at 3:07 PM

The GOP didn’t care when Mark Foley was trying to do teenage boys he was charged with educating. Why all of a sudden to they care that Ford went to a Playboy party?

shackler on October 29, 2006 at 3:11 PM

to borrow and amend a line from my fav editorial in the Union Leader regarding the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame “leak”:

The facts are quite clear. There was no conspiracy to use racial motivation (black man, white woman, etc.) to convince people to not vote for Harold Ford. None. Zero. Nada. It did not happen. End of story. Now, can we finally drop this non-issue and move on?”

truthmattersfa on October 29, 2006 at 3:50 PM

Shackler … no one much cares whether Ford went to a Playboy party or not. What does matter is that he denied doing so, then tried on the mantle of devout, straight, upright, pious Christian young man, even filming an ad from inside a church. Isn’t that something that get Dem shorts all in a bunch … hypocrisy?

LissaKay on October 29, 2006 at 4:04 PM

I live in the heart of Tennesse, and let me tell you it’s going to be a close race. Here’s my bottom line simplistic perspective as a resident observing the public activity here in the state:

The base isn’t fired up about Corker, and Ford is practically a TV star here. Ford signs and bumper stickers outnumber Corker signs 3 to 1 everywhere I go in this state. If the Corker campaign has more money you’d never know it.

I know this is over-simplifying things but it’s a fact. I predict Corker edges him out in a race that Dems demand a recount on. If you live in TN, GET OUT AND VOTE FOR CORKER!

realVerse on October 29, 2006 at 4:27 PM

I’m glad Harold didn’t claim the ad in question was “racist,” cause for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it could ever be called that. A little “racy,” risque or wicked I grant you, but not racist, in my opinion. If anything, I think it shows how far we’ve come in this country when a women asks any man to call her.

The bigger issue is that Harold waffled on his answer about being at the Playboy party. A real eye-opener that Corker and the Republicans should make an issue out of.


Webutante on October 29, 2006 at 4:54 PM

Ha Ha What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,well Florida ain’t Vegas! Bare naked shoulders used to be the be standard Bunny uniform. I was never at a Playboy club, but mabey I should go just to check that out. Just as an ACT of love.

sonnyspats1 on October 29, 2006 at 5:37 PM

They are appealing to different markets. I moved to TN from MD in 2001. Ford gets points from lots of white independent people in TN by showing he’s not one who plays the “race” card on a dime. Steele is courting the black vote and needs to show them he is a “real” black man.

BadBrad on October 29, 2006 at 7:49 PM

Oh dear … oh dear dear dear … first he insults the Australians, now this:

My friend Lincoln Davis who chairs our campaign says there are, there’s one big difference between us and misfortunate Republicans when it comes to our faith: he said that Republicans fear the Lord; he said Democrats fear AND love the Lord.

~ Harold Ford, Jr.

See and hear it all

LissaKay on October 29, 2006 at 8:26 PM

He does say the ad was “smutty,” which is an odd critique coming from a guy who parties with playmates. Although, not really, I guess.

Sounds like he got a good idea for talking points by Michelle’s criticism of the Allen campaign (“smutgate”). Thanks, Michelle. Again, this is why Ann Coulter states in How to Talk to a Liberal why is so counterproductive to criticize conservatives (as opposed to “moderates.”) It gives the Left ammunition.

Ford’s reaction to the effective ad that the Republicans decided was too politically incorrect to play demonstrated that he was both a liar and partier. Now he uses Michelle’s attitude towards “smut.” One reason people were so upset with Michelle’s comments on Fox the other evening was because it would not keep smut off TV; it would simply bolster Dems. And judging from Ford’s comments, they did.

januarius on October 29, 2006 at 8:33 PM

LissaKay on October 29, 2006 at 2:34 PM

Yep, And your post just above here, Dems love God??? When did they start that?
This guy is a flake and clueless. Not only did he slam Aystralia, he thinks the North K’s, Kim mentally Ill have set off TWO nukes, the first one on the 4th of July. Remember? That was the missile crap, ballistic missiles, not nuclear detonations. Ford’s way to arrogant and thick skulled, he’d insult the world without knowing it.
LissaKay & RealVerse, I’m w/you.

shooter on October 29, 2006 at 8:43 PM

Ford tried to spin that what his daddy really said was, “tracker”. Uh, yeah, right.

Here at Hotair, it was established that he said “tracker” the day it originally came out. “Trackers” are people sent by campaigns to follow their opponents around (like the “macaca” guy). Hence, “Corker’s got a tracker up here…,” or whatever he said.

DaveS on October 29, 2006 at 8:45 PM

Actually, the best sign that a republican ad was well done and having an impact is when dems and their buddies in the media manafacture some phony controversy about it. The race card just does’nt work anymore, people see throgh it. Republicans win on this one.

Scot on October 29, 2006 at 9:32 PM

What’s with this bizarro world version of HotAir, with the same people who were attacking Michelle the other day now falling over themselves to praise … Harold Ford?

Ford’s a nitwit and a poseur. Thank goodness the voters in Tennessee are brighter than this bunch and the Reynolds family. Ford loses and looks stupid in the process.

With this group of ding dongs supporting the GOP I am feeling worse about the election every second…

Jaibones on October 29, 2006 at 10:03 PM

Jailbones …. what the hell are you rambling on about? None of that makes any sense at all ….

LissaKay on October 29, 2006 at 10:31 PM

Jaibones, Harold Ford is–on balance–a decent, moderate Democrat. We should encourage them to produce more like him. My main concern with a Harold Ford win is the balance of power in the Senate, not an absolute disgust with Ford and his beliefs. I wouldn’t trust him to be president or anything, but as a Senator from Tennessee he would probably come off as fairly conservative in the end.

I’m a Republican when I must self-identify, as are most people here, but the great thing about this site is that there are many people here who are able to make objective, intelligent observations about things. The fact of the matter is that Harold Ford handled this well… he didn’t perpetuate the race-baiting and say “Yeah, you’re all racists and the GOP was playing to you with the ad”. Instead, he said “No, the ad isn’t racist (hence, YOU the voter aren’t racist), but it was inappropriate for viewing in a good Christian home and I want your vote, values-voters.”

Perfectly played. That doesn’t translate to “falling over ourselves to praise Harold Ford”.

DaveS on October 29, 2006 at 10:48 PM

My bottom line: I want Corker to win his race, but if Ford pulls it out, it won’t be the end of the world either.

Steele, for my money, is already a rock star, and I wish nothing but great success for him now and in the future. Ditto with Lynn Swann as well.

itzWicks on October 29, 2006 at 11:38 PM

So would it be racist if there a woman representing each of the following: Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and Indian?
Of course it would lose it’s edge with so many.

Have white actress = racist.
Have a black actress = racist.

Personally I think attending the party was a non issue until Ford lied about it.

Race race race. It’s hard to ever get past the race issue and live together when I keep getting slapped in the face with it constantly.

Vikes 27, Pats 17 (Unless Teddy Kennedy is driving the Pats team bus…it is the land of 10,000 lakes).

Sarcasm, Just one more service I offer.

VikingGoneWild on October 30, 2006 at 3:44 PM

I was hoping a famous person (or two) married to someone of a different race would ask the media, “It’s 2006, and you say interracial dating is racist? What the bleep is WRONG WITH YOU?” But the only examples that spring immediately to mind are professional athletes with multi-million-dollar endorsement deals and eponymous charitable foundations, so I understand why they wouldn’t jump into a politcal fray.

And I’m not sure why the Playboy thing is a big deal; feminists tell me these women choose to be exploiteduse their talents freely. Very affirming.

Radish on October 30, 2006 at 5:48 PM

The upcoming ABC TV series, “Daybreak” ought to prove interesting in this regard.

I honestly could not say who is more appealing there, BTW, Taye Diggs or Adam Baldwin. Rawrrr!

Oh excuse me … eh hem. I’ll just be in my bunk.

LissaKay on October 31, 2006 at 12:06 AM