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Hoekstra TV ad called racist

Feb. 6, 2012 at 8:56 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Michigan senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra denied accusations a TV ad shown during the Super Bowl was racially insensitive to Asian-Americans.

The ad by the Republican former congressman allegedly was to attack the spending of his incumbent rival for the Senate seat in the November election, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the Grand Rapids Press reported Monday.

The 30-second spot, shot not in Michigan but in California, features a young woman of Asian ancestry riding a bicycle through a field. She stops and addresses the camera in halted English.

"Debbie spend so much American money, you borrow more and more, from us," the woman says. "Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs.

"Thank you, Debbie 'Spenditnow.'"

The ad then cuts to Hoekstra sitting by a fire.

"I think this race is between Debbie 'Spenditnow' and Pete 'Spenditnot.' I'm Pete 'Spenditnot' Hoekstra and I approve this message," he says.

Hoekstra said the television spot was intended to initiate debate on spending.

"The ad is only insensitive to Debbie Stabenow and her spending. The ad clearly lays out that the Chinese benefit from the recklessness of U.S. spending," Hoekstra said.

"It doesn't criticize the Chinese at all. The spending weakens us and improves the Chinese. It's about clearly pointing out our reckless spending. This ad isn't nasty at all. It simply points out the facts," he added.

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