Fi2W commentator Jack Tomas takes a critical look at the latest crop of political ads -in both Spanish and English – aimed at Latino voters.
Tag: Spanish-language ads
Weekend Roundup: Chinese American Families Seek Common Ground Over McCain and Obama; Presidential Campaigns Battle (in Spanish) Over Immigration; Obama Speaks to Voters en Español
One third of Asian American voters still have not decided who to vote for in the presidential election, according to a recent survey. Yan Tai, a reporter for the Chinese-language daily World Journal and Feet in Two Worlds, says younger Chinese Americans are helping their parents overcome their ambivalence about the candidates. In an interview Friday on PRI’s The World, Yan talked about Chinese American families where young people who support Barack Obama have convinced their more conservative immigrant parents to vote for the Democratic candidate.
Click here to listen to the interview.
Earlier this week La Opinión reporter and columnist Pilar Marrero, who is also a FI2W journalist, appeared on The World to talk about Spanish-language radio and TV ads being run by the McCain and Obama campaigns. She explained how both candidates are battling over who has the best record on immigration, but only in Spanish-language media. They almost never mention immigration to English-speaking audiences.
On Friday, Marrero reported on her blog about a new Obama ad in which the Democratic candidate speaks to the audience entirely in Spanish. Marrero notes that up ’till now both campaigns have used Spanish-speaking announcers in their ads. But in this new, soon-to-be released commercial, it’s Obama who is doing the talking, telling Hispanic voters that he shares “their dream.” According to Marrero, Obama doesn’t actually know how to speak Spanish. In the ad he pronounces the script phonetically. But she says his pronunciation “isn’t bad at all.”
While immigration is barely discussed in the mainstream presidential campaign, a Spanish-language war of accusations continues to play on TV screens in “Hispanic battleground” states.
A few days ago, John McCain’s campaign launched an ad which again accused Barack Obama of sinking immigration reform in the Senate and also charged the Democrats with running “fraudulent” ads.
On Wednesday the Obama campaign will respond with this new ad in Spanish which will air in (you guessed it) Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, washingtonpost.com reports.
As Politico’s Ben Smith notes, the new ad doesn’t go so far as to suggest that McCain and Rush Limbaugh are on the same side of the immigration fight, as the Obama campaign did in previous commercials. This time it says McCain “keeps manipulating and lying about immigration. He wants to hide the fact that he was the one who turned his back on us.”
Then a CNN clip is played (and replayed) of McCain saying at a debate between the Republican primary candidates that he would not vote for his own immigration reform bill. As we noted when the Republican campaign launched their latest ad, it was a bit surprising that the central claim in Spanish-language ads continues to be related to the failed immigration bill of 2006 — since the Obama campaign could easily do what it’s doing now: call McCain on his reversal regarding that bill.
The ad finishes by saying,
He surrendered to the anti-immigration movement and, with the Republicans, he betrayed our community. If John McCain is not willing to challenge the Republican Party, how is he going to defend us at the White House?
To underline this last point, McCain, with a big smile on his face, is shown standing next to President George W. Bush.
It seems in this campaign there’s no end to the lanzamiento de barro (mud slinging in Spanish.)
The McCain campaign has launched a new Spanish-language ad which, according to the Washington Post, is running in the “Hispanic battleground” states of Colorado and New Mexico. In it the Republican campaign levels the same charge against Barack Obama that was the theme of a previous commercial: that he and “his allies in Congress” sunk the comprehensive immigration reform bill of two years ago – a charge that, as we’ve said, is not based on what actually happened in the Senate in 2006.
But this time, the voice-over also claims that Obama’s Spanish-language ads on immigration have been called “unfair, absolutely mistaken and fraudulent” by the press.
What it doesn’t say is that the press heavily criticized both campaigns for their misleading ads on Spanish-language television, as we’ve written before. A New York Times editorial two weeks ago harshly chided Democrats and Republicans for first “ignoring immigration” and then “lying about it to voters.”
Here’s the ad:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmcbiL8XtbQ&eurl]
The commercial also says Joe Biden called Mexico “a dysfunctional society” and ends, “They’ve said no to us too many times. This election, let’s tell them no.”
According to the Washington Post,
Joe Biden called Mexico a “dysfunctional society” back in Dec. 2007 while speaking with Iowa voters. The vice presidential candidate — then running his own presidential campaign — said that solutions to the American immigration issue should start with changes to the Mexican economy.
“They’re being irresponsible. This is the second-wealthiest nation in the hemisphere — we’re not talking about Sierra Leone.”
“This is a dysfunctional society,” Biden added.
Including this quote in ads is likely to rile quite a few Mexican-Americans. But the Republicans’ central claim on Spanish-language ads continues to be related to the failed immigration bill of 2006. This seems a bit surprising, since McCain himself has backed away from that bill, which he co-authored with Sen. Ted Kennedy. During the Republican primaries McCain reversed his position, and said he would not support the bill were it to come up for a vote again.
Here’s a clip from the Republican presidential debate on Jan. 30, where McCain said he wouldn’t vote for the bill:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtHOkSWCr6Q]