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His latest television ad is a display of anti-gay sentiment and overt religious zealotry that Perry hoped would appeal to the core of the GOP. Instead it’s creating a backlash even among the extreme right wing.
In the ad, Perry stands before the camera and says:
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.
“That’s garbage,” a longtime GOP political activist told Capitol Hill Blue. “That’s way over the top even for Perry.”
The ad is so extreme that it’s even caused a split within the Perry campaign. Tony Fabrizo, Perry’s pollster and strategist, called the ad “nuts” in an email to Nelson Warfield, a Perry media producer who created the spot.
Warfield admits creating the controversial ad and claims the ad was tested through a poll and focus groups before it went on the air.
“That spot was mine from writing the question to test it to drafting the script to overseeing the production,” he said. “Tony was against it from the get-so.”
Perry communications director Ray Sullivan admits some internal tension over the ad but calls it a normal “tactics debate” within the volatile Perry campaign.