Former Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-MI) appeared Monday afternoon on Fox News, to defend his controversial TV ad by his Senate campaign, which played in Michigan during the Super Bowl — and featured an Asian-American actress speaking in broken English, to thank incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow for spending and borrowing money from China.
“Your economy get very weak,” the woman said in the ad. “Ours get very good. We take your jobs.”
Megyn Kelly asked Hoekstra about objections from Asian-American groups, who say the Hoekstra campaign is stirring up anti-Asian sentiments and stereotypes. But Hoekstra stood firm.
“The only group of people that this ad is ‘anti-’ — its anti-Debbie Stabenow, it’s anti-Barack Obama, the spending policies of the liberal left. You’ll notice that the ad points to the opportunities that America’s dumb economic policies — deficit spending, trillion dollars of deficits, trillions and trillions of debt — it creates the opportunities for countries like China and others to take advantage of our weakness. it weakens the U.S. economy, and it strengthens our competitors.
Kelly then asked about objections from the ad’s opponents, who have said that the ad’s use of broken English stirred up old-time stereotypes about a lack of intelligence in other races.
“Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement,” said Hoekstra. “You know, what these folks and what others are angry about, they’re angry about the message, that we are actually confronting the Democrats and Debbie Stabenow on the failed policies that have resulted in eight and a half, nine percent unemployment in the United States.
“We have an economic growth rate of about 2%. China is coming off a 9% economic growth rate. That’s what we need to be focused on. This ad hits the Democrats exactly where it hurts, on their spending over the last three years under President Obama that has weakened our economy.”
Kelly then asked Hoekstra, did he feel hurt or unfairly targeted by the accusations of promoting racial stereotypes?
“Well, it hurts — we expected it, as Lou Dobbs mentioned earlier,” he replied. “There’s nothing in here that has a racial tint at all,” he insisted. “But the bottom line is, when Debbie Stabenow and them can’t defend their record, what they’ll typically move to is they’ll move to the race card.
“Folks can go to our web site and they can take a look at how the spending decisions of this administration have weakened us economically, and the results that that has been for both China and the United States. The contrast couldn’t be clearer.”