American political campaign ads come in a wide variety. They can be sober or exciting, traditional or boundary-pushing, tame or aggressive, short or too long, and so on. But one particular campaign ad by West Virginia Republican Patrick Morrisey is making the rounds on the internet for being, well, really bizarre. Think of angry floating mountains.
Morrisey, West Virginia's attorney general, who is vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate, shared his campaign video on Twitter Thursday. It's only 30 seconds long but full of intense music and conservative sound bites — and, yes, an angry levitating mountain. Morrisey tweeted his video and said, "I'm running for U.S. Senate not to just change Washington [D.C.], but to blow it up and reinvent it. Washington is fundamentally broken. We can fix that with a West Virginia conservative fighter."
In his video, Morrisey talks about challenging former President Barack Obama on "his war on jobs," a reference to the coal mining industry. A heavy-voiced narrator in the background of the video growls, "Patrick Morrisey beat Obama at the Supreme Court saving coal jobs, blocked Obama's illegal amnesty."
The initial scenes in Morrisey's ad are run-of-the-mill political visuals; you can see coal miners talking to the Republican and footage of a handcuffed man being led away by law enforcement with text about how Morrisey "blocked Obama's illegal amnesty plan."
Later, the video shows the state's landmark Seneca Rocks uprooting themselves on their own and flying into the sky. The twirling mountain then floats off to Capitol Hill, where it crashes onto the building. This is where Morrisey gives a thumbs-up and says, "That's better! We'll take on Washington liberals."
Sometimes words don't do justice, so here's the video in its full glory:
After the mountain crushes Capitol Hill, Morrisey promises his viewers that he will bring conservative West Virginian values to the capital. While referring to "Washington liberals," Morrisey said he would keep their hands off of Americans' guns — a point that may do well among the conservative critics of gun control legislation. At the bottom of one of the scenes in his ad, Morrisey's video boasts his "A-plus rating" from the National Rifle Association.
Morrisey also said that he would stop the "pro-abortion agenda" in Congress. According to the reproductive health and policy organization Guttmacher Institute, West Virginia places several restrictions on women seeking abortions. Those restrictions include mandating "state-directed counseling" that could "discourage [women] from having an abortion," a 24-hour waiting period before the medical service will be done, informing parents of a minor seeking an abortion, and not allowing abortion at 20 weeks unless the woman's life is in extreme danger. As such, women in West Virginia face difficulty in accessing reproductive health care for abortion. According to his campaign ad, Morrisey vows to bring similar restrictions before Congress if elected.
Although Morrisey may not have intended to spark laughter among his viewers, some social media users found his campaign video funny. One Twitter user said, "This ad is hilarious; it's almost so bad that it's good!" The video, which is making the rounds on Twitter, is receiving a litany of descriptions ranging from bewildered to hostile. Vox reporter German Lopez quipped, "Throwing mountains on government buildings seems inadvisable."
But while Morrisey seems passionate to give Washington, D.C. a bombastic makeover, some people noted that he did not mention his wife, who works on Capitol Hill. A communications strategist at the liberal advocacy organization Every Voice, Adam Smith, tweeted in response to Morrisey's video, writing, "I hope his wife, a partner at a D.C. lobbying firm, is OK!"