May 22nd, 2009
09:26 AM ET
5 years ago

RNC uses controversial 'Daisy' ad to target Obama

The RNC is using footage from a controversial ad to take aim at Obama.
The RNC is using footage from a controversial ad to take aim at Obama.

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee Friday unearthed one of the most controversial political ads in American history to take aim at President Obama's decision to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay.

Called "Daisy," The RNC's new 30-second Web ad uses footage of the now-infamous 1964 Lyndon Johnson commercial by the same name that showed a young girl picking off the petals of a flower as a nuclear explosion is heard in the background.

That ad, which only ran once but was widely criticized as being extreme, ends with the image of a mushroom cloud and Johnson declaring, "We must either love each other, or we must die."

The New RNC ad splices the image of the girl with Obama's earlier declaration suggesting that closing Guantanamo Bay is "easy." This time the girl asks "To close it? To close it not?" as she picks off flower petals.

It also shows Senate Democrats - including Majority Leader Harry Reid - appearing to take issue with proposals to relocate current Guantanamo detainees in the United States.

The new iteration, which forgoes the original's dramatic mushroom-cloud ending, comes days after RNC Chairman Michael Steele declared an end to the Obama administration's "honeymoon" and pledged more aggressive opposition from the GOP.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. Bud L

    Just another nail in the RNC coffin.

    Haven't they figure out yet that negativity just isn't going to work anymore?

    How about something positive that the RNC can do to help the country, not just make themselves feel better?

    May 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Jeff - Austin, TX

    The Know Nothing Party is at it again. It seems that they are not marching to oblivion but rather they are running to oblivion. The have nothing to offer the American people other than who to blame and what to fear. We, the people, will not buy into the comments from the dark side. If they have nothing positive to offer, they should get out of the way and let the President govern and clean up the mess that the Republicans created over the past decade.

    May 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Joseph

    Didn't Condi Rice also theaten a mushroom cloud if we didn't invade Iraq?

    May 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Bob Evano

    Add this to the list of things that will backfire on the republicans.....

    So sad, you almost feel sorry for them......almost......

    May 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Killian

    That ad, which only ran once but was widely criticized as being extreme, ends with the image of a mushroom crowd and Johnson declaring, "We must either love each other, or we must die."

    What's a mushroom crowd?

    May 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Lisa

    I would certainly expect a CNN reporter to be able to spell "petal" correctly. I guess that is setting the bar to high.

    May 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. PaulP

    Steele, is a very funny guy. The GOP never gave Obama, a Honeymoon. The GOP attack Obama on Jan 19 2009, and never let up.
    But, Bringing up a 1964 ad, stays right in line with the Rep's calling Obama a socialist, Just as McCathy in the 50's called all Dem's Communist. Can't wait till the REP's start airing ads from theh 70's. By 2010 the REP's ads, should be from the 80's. What a old thoughtful group these rep are.

    May 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. A-Wax

    The decision to run this ad makes total sense, being that these types of spots worked so well against Obama in 2008, much like McCain's "Dr. No" ad

    Please, RNC, continue to ressurrect iconography from the 60's; THAT'LL get your message across :/

    May 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. slipthalo

    The RNC just continues to go lower and lower – they don't get the fact that the American people soundly rejected their fear tactics in the last election. We had 8 years of fear tossed at us constantly, they abused their power and we grew and learned.
    Their politics of old is just that – old and worn out just as their ideas are.

    May 22, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. MADinAZ

    More despicable cowardice from the RNC.

    May 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Lisa

    Okay–my face is a little red...I do know how to spell. I meant "that is setting the bar TOO high."

    May 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Chuck

    Republicans have shown that they have a fundamental problem telling the truth. They pretend to be Christians and patriots while helping the insurance industry, big pharma and the oil industry rob us blind. Republicans had to become masters of deceit to get people hurt by their policies to vote for them. Foghorns like Rush are expert at mixing bits of truth with lies to deceive people, and that's how the Bible describes Satan.

    May 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. ndlily

    I seriously hope these are the death throes of the Republican Party. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to make of the people who would still support them after something like this.

    May 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Check Yourself

    Excellent ad...

    May 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Justin

    This is absolutely sickening.
    The RNC should be ashamed of themselves.
    I plan on turning the station if I see this commercial, and not supporting the network that airs it.

    Republicans will soon join whigs as being the largest failed political parties in US history.

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. chuck

    oh my...let the cry babies start. how dare the republican party hit back!!
    how dare anyone take issue with anything obama does!! the audacity of some people!!

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Joel Parkes

    I don't think the GOP could illustrate their political irrelevance any more clearly. Using a notoriously divisive ad from 45 years ago as some kind of political strategy in 2009? Who is running this party, drug addicts?

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Ted van Tol

    Fear, fear and fear, that's made this world
    like it was. Time for change! Time for dialog,
    time for peace all over the world.

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Brad

    An aid that turned thousands upon thousands of people off from the Democratic Party is being unearthed. All I can sat is...New Low.

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. ryan weigel

    all politicans are corrupted and instead of worrying about the other party why not worry about america stop fighting and do your job for once we need help and we cant get it if all u people are going to fight all the time i say grow up and do your job!!!

    May 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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