Nevada state Sen. Mark Amodei (R) didn’t wait long after starting his campaign for his state’s unfilled House seat before dabbling in xenophobia. Amodei, the GOP nominee for Nevada’s second congressional district special election in September, launched his three-day-old campaign with a television ad telling viewers China’s debt holdings will soon allow the country to rise up and destroy U.S. sovereignty.
The commercial, which follows in the footsteps of China-bashing ads run by Citizens Against Government Waste and former Rep. Zack Space, depicts a Chinese news anchor in the near-future discussing the U.S. decline in the face of China’s imperial aspirations. “Their President Obama just kept raising the debt limit, and their independence became a new dependence. As their debt grew, our fortune grew, and that is how our great empire rose again,” she reports.
Running in the background are shots of Obama bowing to Chinese president Hu Jintao and a doctored image of the Chinese army marching with automatic rifles in front of the U.S. Capitol building as it flies the red Chinese flag. At its close, the ad cuts to an image of Amodei as he promises to “never vote to raise Obama’s debt limit and risk our independence.” Watch it:
Hyperbolic claims that U.S. independence is at risk from China’s increased ownership of the public debt is a thinly veiled attempt to play on some Americans’ xenophobia. At the end of the 2010 fiscal year, China owned just 9.5 percent of U.S. debt. But not only does Amodei ignore the facts regarding the national debt, the ad’s leap from the national debt ceiling to Chinese troops marching in front of the Capitol is simply preposterous.
But this fear-mongering may not be enough to save Amodei’s campaign once the debate focuses on his support for the GOP plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system.