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Rick Perry’s “Strong” Campaign Ad is a YouTube advertisement for the Texas governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee candidate Rick Perry. The video begins with Perry openly proclaiming his Christian background, then goes onto denounce Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and vows to end Barack Obama’s “War on Religion.” The YouTube video immediately stirred a controversy in the comments section and drew criticism from the LGBT and atheist communities alike.
The advertisement video titled “Strong” was uploaded on December 6th, 2011, via Rick Perry’s YouTube campaign account RPerry2012.
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 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.
Rick Perry’s video was met by strong, negative reaction from users on various social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, drawing over 200,000 downvotes to the YouTube clip in less than 72 hours of the upload. As it continued to spread across the blogosphere, some readers launched a separate campaign calling on people to flag the YouTube video as inappropriate for promoting “hatred or violence” about “sexual orientation.”
In the news, the point of contention was quickly narrowed down to Perry’s analogy involving gay military personnels and the defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which was repealed after President Obama signed the legislation in 2010.
Rick Perry’s Unpopular Opinions
On December 8th, two days after the release of “Strong” on YouTube, a Tumblr page titled “Rick Perry’s Unpopular Opinions” was created. The single topic blog featured animated GIF versions of the ad along with superimposed text conveying humorous messages, further emphasizing the unpopularity of Perry’s stance on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. military.
Rick Perry’s speech in the video has also been the subject of parody, leading to several copypasta variations. Several copypasta are coupled together with photoshops of various characters on top of Rick Perry’s face.