The Upshot

Rick Perry’s ad moves the Web

The Upshot

Rick Perry's latest ad has divided his campaign and gone viral on the Web.

The TV spot shows Rick Perry wearing a jacket that could have been swiped from the "Brokeback Mountain" set (as former "Star Trek" star and gay activist George Takei has pointed out), as the candidate criticizes Obama for reversing the ban on gays in the military.

In the commercial, titled "Strong," Perry says, "You know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas."

The spot has even divided top Perry staffers. Terry Fabrizio, a lead pollster for the Perry campaign branded it "nuts" in an email according to Sam Stein of the Huffington Post.

The campaign message has definitely sparked public debate, but perhaps not in the way that Perry hoped, serving as instant fodder for late-night comedy shows: Stephen Colbert mounted a mock defense of the spot on his show last night.

And a steady viral stream of  video spoofs have been making the rounds. The website BuzzFeed has a remix of the ad, in which Perry delivers a message directly opposite of the original script. Buzz on the ad has also caused Yahoo! searches to surge in just one day on "rick perry anti-gay ad," "rick perry brokeback mountain" and "rick perry youtube."

Gay rights groups have circulated a petition asking that the ad on YouTube get the "dislike" button: So far, the video has tallied over 440,000 dislikes.

You can watch the original ad in the video above.

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