McCarthy is perhaps best known for his role in crafting the ads behind the Willie Horton ads for the George H.W. Bush campaign. The infamous ad featured a menacing picture of an African American serial killer, along with a narrator who claimed Michael Dukakis was soft on crime. Explaining the strategy of the ad, a Bush aide told journalists: “Dukakis’s negatives with white voters are so high as to be insuperable.”
The Horton ads marked the beginning of a lifelong career in ads designed to bring out the worst in voters. Last year, McCarthy served as a media strategist for the American Future Fund, a Republican attack ad group. Under his direction, the group ran a race-baiting ad linking Democrats to the Park51 community center, deemed by the racist right as the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque.”
The ad attempted to channel hatred against Muslims toward Democrats in the midterm election. Playing on the absurd notion that the Muslim community center was a monument to the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks, the ad urged voters in Iowa to vote against a Democrat for supporting the construction. Watch here:
Recently, ThinkProgress traveled to Iowa and attempted to visit the American Future Fund office. However, the address for the group turned out to be a UPS mail box in a strip mall near the airport. With a record of such secrecy and racist, anything-goes campaign tactics, one can expect Romney’s new outside group to be just as ugly in the presidential race.