In a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today, committed liberal and advertising executive Donny Deutsch denounced critics of Chrysler's Super Bowl ad: "Republicans should be quiet because by saying this is a Barack ad, you're saying this is America the beautiful, America is on its way back....They're looking like fools."
Moments later, Deutsch admitted the ad touted an Obama accomplishment: "And by the way, Barack did make the move to save the auto industry. Like him or not, that's a fact." Earlier in the discussion, attorney Star Jones expressed the same sentiment: "The truth hurts. I mean, if, in fact, the country is coming back and it benefits this administration, then they reap that benefit."
Later, Jones concluded: "Anything that's 'rah-rah us' right now in this – in the climate, is a good thing, it doesn't hurt anybody." On Tuesday, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow cheered the ad as patriotic: "I think that this is a 'Yay, America' ad. And if talking about the country being in economic recovery and jobs coming back and Detroit coming back is a partisan statement then we are in a weird universe."
In addition to his Wednesday declaration, Deutsch appeared on the morning show on Monday to praise the ad: "...it was called 'Halftime in America.' The great Reagan ad, 'Morning in America.' It was a nod to that....They celebrated the rebirth of America, the rebirth of the auto industry. And I think in this political year you're going to have a lot of references to that ad."
Here is a portion of the February 8 panel discussion:
MATT LAUER: This ad that ran during the Super Bowl, get back to the Super Bowl, it was for Chrysler. It was all about the tough times that Detroit has seen and the fact that there is a rebirth there. It was voiced by Clint Eastwood. Here's a listen.
CLINT EASTWOOD: People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared because this isn't a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now motor city is fighting again.
LAUER: I think a lot of people liked the ad. And then came the criticism from some that this is more than a car commercial. This is a campaign ad for Barack Obama thinly disguised. What do we think about it?
STAR JONES: The truth hurts. I mean, if, in fact, the country is coming back and it benefits this administration, then they reap that benefit. The truth hurts.
DONNY DEUTSCH: Well, by the way, the Republicans should be quiet because by saying this is a Barack ad, you're saying this is America the beautiful, America is on its way back.
DEUTSCH: So, basically Chrysler was so smart. I don't think in their minds they're going, "We're going to do a pro-Obama ad." They were doing a pro-comeback ad and the Republicans should not be saying, "Ooh, that's in Barack's direction." They're looking like fools.
NANCY SNYDERMAN: Yeah, look, I grew up in northern Indiana. So, Detroit and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and that whole beltway. You know, I think that a lot of people have felt that mid-western pain. So, as a mid-western girl I thought it was very much about our resilient spirit. I didn't see it as political at all. And when this sort of talk started 72 hours afterwards, I was frankly a little stunned.
DEUTSCH: And by the way, Barack did make the move to save the auto industry. Like him or not, that's a fact.
LAUER: Wasn't there an Eminem ad like that last year? Did you see the same kind of talk?
DEUTSCH: Well, we see the talk because it was such a powerful ad. They were so smart, they didn't make it about "Buy American," they made it about Detroit, and this is an extension of it. It's a great ad, by the way.
JONES: Anything that's "rah-rah us" right now in this – in the climate, is a good thing, it doesn't hurt anybody.
SNYDERMAN: Yeah, I think it was a good ad too.