Political ads must not be a strong suit for California billionaire Tom Steyer – evidently attack ads must be harder than investing his hedge fund money in Indonesian coal. Though he quite obviously makes the attempt, Steyer’s NextGen Climate super PAC’s ads are neither clever nor persuasive — in fact, political observers think they’re just plain weird.
First, NextGen subjected the good people of Iowa to an attack ad targeting Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. Looking past its blatant factual errors, the Washington Post called the ad “one of the most bizarre political ads of the 2014 election.”
Then NextGen attempted an ad that targeted TransCanada CEO Russ Girling and the Keystone Pipeline. The Washington Post called the ad “over-the-top” and gave it four Pinnochios for relying “on speculation, not facts, to make insinuations and assertions not justified by the reality.”
Finally, NextGen’s most recent ad targets Florida Gov. Rick Scott on climate change. It features “over-produced scenes and confusing dialogue”—not to mention factual errors—in an effort to compare Gov. Scott and scientists skeptical of climate change to cavemen.
As the Washington Post points out, NextGen’s attack on Gov. Scott falls short because American voters are “decidedly not” focused on climate change. Americans ranked climate change as the least important among 13 issues in the 2014 election in a recent Gallup poll. The ad—with its strange and frankly insulting premise—simply fails to persuade.
One thing Floridians can be thankful for? NextGen’s cavemen ad is 30 seconds long as opposed to Steyer’s previous minute-long disasters.