Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign began airing a commercial in Iowa Tuesday that signaled a new strategy in the campaign: focus less on his economic record and more on his social conservative credentials. But Perry’s critique of gays serving openly in the military and “Obama’s war on religion” has invoked a fury of vitriol on Perry’s campaign Facebook page.
“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,” Perry says in the ad.
Now his Facebook page is being flooded with negative comments at a rate of hundreds per hour. The remarks from commenters suggest their posts are being deleted, but the deluge of venom is apparently coming too fast for campaign staff to keep up.
Comments range from the gently critical to the downright vulgar. We’ll leave the most offensive comments on the Facebook page. But here are some that cleared our PG-13 filter.
“I cannot believe that you would dishonor ANYBODY that has put their life on the line for this country and its causes,” Layla D Reyes wrote.
“You are out of your mind, you just blew ANY chance you had at winning, seriously,” Harrison Otterbein said.
“If you hate gays, especially those who have served this country, Perry is your man!” Derek Houston posted.
And those are the more restrained comments.
The advertisement that prompted the outrage, which you can see below, has fewer than 5,000 “Likes” as of this posting and more than 224,000 “Dislikes.”
Meanwhile, Perry pollster Tony Fabrizio was apparently disturbed by the ad. The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports that after seeing the ad, Fabrizio emailed the campaign to say it was “nuts.” Fabrizio has done consulting work for Republican gay rights groups.