The North Carolina Republican Party is scheduled to begin airing a new TV commercial Tuesday featuring video of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright making inflammatory remarks about America's treatment of African-Americans.
The ad is so racially tinged that the national Republican Party and Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, asked that it not be run. But the North Carolina party refused. "They're not listening to me because they're out of touch with reality and the Republican Party," McCain said on NBC's "Today" Show. "We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, and this kind of campaigning is unacceptable."
But North Carolina Republicans have used racially loaded commercials before that were disowned by their national leaders. In 1976, when then California Gov. Ronald Reagan was challenging sitting President Gerald Ford, North Carolina Reagan supporters put out a leaflet trumpeting Ford's suggestion that he might chose an African-American, U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, for vice president. In 1990, when U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms was facing a competitive challenge from former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, an African-American architect, the state GOP mailed 125,000 postcards into black neighborhoods warning residents that they might commit voter fraud if they had recently moved.
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