For the 2016 presidential election, we've got a number of repeat runners, including one pretty infamous former Texas governor who gave a pretty memorable political ad. When it comes to Rick Perry, who announced his political run Thursday, the big question is whether we'll see the same kind of SMH messages as we saw from his 2012 campaign. Take, for instance, Rick Perry's famous anti-gay "Strong" ad — which funny enough, had him in a jacket that looked strikingly similar to one worn in a movie about, well, gay cowboys.
In the "Strong" ad, Perry vowed to take on "Obama's war on religion" and called out the president's decision to end the military's "misguided" Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which banned gays from entering the armed forces. Why, Perry asked, are gay servicemen allowed to fight for their country when children can't celebrate Christmas in school? The ad, uploaded on YouTube, quickly racked up plenty of dislikes (at the time this story was published, the video had more than 800,000), and you can bet it was because of the number of ignorant comments made in this 30-second clip.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I'll end Obama's war on religion, and I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again. I'm Rick Perry, and I approve this message.
That "I'm not ashamed to admit" line popped up in countless "Strong" parodies, and as viewers astutely pointed out, Perry's rugged tan jacket was identical to the one donned by Heath Ledger's character Ennis Del Mar in the film Brokeback Mountain. You know, that award-winning movie about two men who fall in love in the wild, masculine American West. You really can't make this stuff up.
Now, if that "War on Religion" diatribe sounds familiar, that's because it's a popular Fox News topic that makes its rounds every Christmas season. It's also a fun target for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
In these early campaign months, candidates are resorting to hidden 404 pages and snarky interviews to make their digs at each other, but when those political ads start coming, here's hoping there'll be a different kind of script when it comes to LGBT rights. Or in Perry's case, at least a different stylist.