UPDATE #4: Not to be outdone, the Rocky Mountain News reports:
They say faith can move mountains. Apparently, so can political campaigns.
But when a television ad for the Republican Bob Schaffer’s campaign for U.S. Senate mistakenly switched Mount McKinley in Alaska for Pikes Peak in Colorado, the consequences can be rugged and steep.
“I am very frustrated,” said Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams, who admitted the mistake and said a corrected ad will be on the air by Wednesday night.
“What is frustrating about it is that when we saw the rough cut of the ad we asked the media consultant to check that,” Wadhams added. But after being reassured that the mountain was a “stock photo” image from Colorado, the ad ran.
It didn’t take long, though for some mountaineering Democrats to climb all over the error. The Web site ColoradoPols posted the discovery, leading several activists to contend that the error says more about Schaffer than his media consultant.
“For Schaffer, who comes from Ohio, to not know the most important mountain in Colorado is just foolish,” said Mike Huttner, executive director of the liberal group Progress Now Action.
Wadhams, however, defended the accuracy of the rest of the ad…
A frustrated Dick Wadhams, Schaffer’s campaign manager, conceded the mistake and said the ad would be pulled and re-edited with Colorado mountains. Wadhams said that the campaign raised the issue with their media consultant during rough cuts, directing them to make sure the mountain shots were authentic – something that obviously didn’t happen. But for an ad meant to underscore Schaffer’s strong ties to his home state, it’s exactly the kind of screw-up the campaign doesn’t want to make. This is going to be an incredibly hard-fought campaign and one the Republicans desperately need to win. Why give your Democratic opponent those kinds of easy hits?
UPDATE #2: Liberal activist group Progress Now is calling for the ad to be immediately pulled–release follows. Quotable quote: “To Schaffer, who came here from Ohio, all mountains probably look the same, but Coloradans with common sense know better.”
UPDATE: Diligent fact-checkers have found that the mountain featured in this ad, the theme of which is “Colorado is My Life,” is in fact Alaska’s world-famous Denali, otherwise known as Mt. McKinley. Which isn’t in Colorado, as most elementary school students know. Oops!
This isn’t a big deal on its own, but taken within a pattern of behavior it makes Schaffer’s campaign look sloppier and sloppier. Bob Beauprez’s campaign for governor in 2006 unfolded in much the same way–a series of small blunders that gradually built into one giant ball of crap.
Released today alongside opponent Mark Udall’s first ad.
Title: “The Change We Need.”
UPDATE: The original video was removed by the Schaffer campaign after only a few hours–but apparently not fast enough to avoid it being re-recorded for posterity (below, original now-dead video is after the jump).
Schaffer Fumbles “Colorado Common Sense” in New TV Ad:
Claims Denali is Pike’s Peak
Call for Schaffer to Pull Ad Immediately
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(303) 931-4547 cell
Denver — Bob Schaffer launched a new television ad in Colorado where he claims to have “Colorado Common Sense” while falsely claiming that Denali (Mt. McKinley) is Pike’s Peak.
“That Schaffer would claim “Colorado common sense” when he doesn’t know the difference between Pike’s Peak and Denali in Alaska shows he’s a fool,” stated Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization. “We call on Schaffer to immediately pull his ad and stop misleading the public over his lack of knowledge of Colorado.”
Schaffer’s new ad shows the image of Denali at the same time that he claims it’s Pike’s Peak and that our state needs some “Colorado common sense.”
While Schaffer claims Colorado is his life, the truth is that Schaffer is from Ohio, where he graduated in from the University of Dayton in 1984 and worked as partisan political operative in Ohio until 1985.
“To Schaffer, who came here from Ohio, all mountains probably look the same, but Coloradans with common sense know better,” added Huttner.
In Schaffer’s new ad launched today in the Western Slope and Southern Colorado can be viewed at www.ColoradoPols.com.