Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra is altering his ad strategy following a storm of criticism over a spot deemed by many as insulting to Asians. The Hoekstra campaign is rotating a new TV ad into a statewide media purchase that will air instead.
The first ad immediately became the target of criticism, nationwide attention and jokes. It depicts a young Chinese woman speaking in broken English.
The new Hoekstra ad also takes aim at incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow, as well as the coverage and criticism of the China ad.
"In spite of what the media says, this race is really about the chance to tell Washington to spend it not," Hoekstra says in the ad. The new ad makes no mention of China.
The Hoekstra campaign also pulled down a website associated with the China ad.
The attention generated by the controversy convinced one of Hoekstra's rivals for the Republican nomination to move up the timing of his first ad buy.
"It demeans people. It misleads people," says rival Clark Durant. "What Pete does is take a Chinese-American and then mocks the whole process. It drips in cynicism, and that's what people are so sick and tired of."