This year, John James bravely took on the responsibility that Kid Rock wouldn’t. He decided to run for Senate as a Republican in Michigan, one of the ten states which Donald Trump won where the Democrats had a seat up for re-election in 2018. But he ran into a pretty big problem this month when the liberal group Progress Michigan looked at an ad James cut and thought, hmm...is that a fucking swastika?
In the ad, which has since been “phased out,” according to the Daily Beast, a shot of a school hallway clearly shows a swastika tacked up to a bulletin board as James laments “failing schools.” I agree: if this school is just letting students and teachers hang up fascist symbols, it sucks!
“I need to fess up and admit this was a terrible error on our part,” James said in a news conference on Monday, attributing it to “stock footage.”
“We should have caught this error, and we didn’t, and there’s no excuse,” he said. “I’m responsible for everything that our team does and fails to do, and I will do everything in my power to make sure this never, ever happens again.”
But pretty soon, the desire to own the libs took over, and the campaign’s tone appeared to change markedly. By last night, James was apparently fundraising off of the response to his “terrible error”:
“John James is the son of slaves, and his family has overcome racism,” James campaign manager Tori Sachs told the Daily Beast today. “After John James raised twice as much as [his Democratic opponent, Debbie] Stabenow in the last quarter, cut her lead in half to single digits and defeated her in two debates, Stabenow finally realizes she is in for the political fight of her life.”
“His team was either too lazy to spot-check their ads or they’re willfully pushing out this type of imagery,” Progress Michigan executive director Lonnie Scott told the Beast.
Sensing an opportunity to jump in on behalf of someone with normal problems like having the symbol of Nazi Germany show up in your videos, Donald Trump—who endorsed James during his primary campaign—tweeted out a message of support this afternoon.
With Trump’s support or without, however, James’ campaign is still in trouble. According to RealClearPolitics, Stabenow maintains a double-digit lead over James in the polls. And last month, a Detroit News/WDIV poll showed that Trump’s approval rating was just 37 percent in Michigan and that 68 percent of those polled said that Trump would be a major factor in how they vote this year.