Of the many things that could be compared to candidates for governor, a wedding dress has to rank pretty low on the list.
But the College Republican National Committee did just that with its series of “Say Yes to the Candidate” ads, spoofs on the “Say Yes to the Dress” reality show that airs on TLC. First up was an ad comparing the “Rick Scott,” a modern dress favored by the bride, to the “Charlie Crist,” an “outdated” model favored by the bride’s mother.
Gov. Rick Scott, of course, is the Republican incumbent trying to fend off a challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat.
“And don’t forget, the Charlie Crist comes with additional costs,” says a stylist helping the bride try out the dresses. “There’s over $2 billion in taxes, $3.6 billion in debt and 15 percent tuition increases.”
About the same time, the mother happily convulses in her chair, muttering something and clapping.
“But I’ll be paying this off for the rest of my life,” the panicked bride says in a voiceover.
The ad quickly went viral, though perhaps not in the manner than the College Republican National Committee had hoped. Many of the first-blush responses panned the concept --- though some of the reviewers might not have been aware that it was a parody of a television reality show. And Democrats jumped at the chance to once again paint the GOP as out of touch with women.
“As a female who does not equate voting with choosing a wedding dress, I am offended by the Republicans’ reliance on sexism to communicate with voters,” said former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, who like Crist is a Republican-turned-Democrat. “It’s not surprising that a candidate who doesn’t trust women to make decisions about their bodies and refuses to fight for equal pay would think this is a good way to reach Florida’s women. Is this really how Rick Scott thinks women should decide who to vote for?”
For its part, the College Republican National Committee doesn’t appear to be backing down from any of the half-dozen ads, all of which follow the same template while swapping out names and local issues for the additional costs brought on by the Democratic dress.
“And just so we’re clear, these are the strong, talented women who wrote the @CRNC’s ‘Say Yes’ ads!” wrote Alex Smith, a woman who chairs the group, in a Twitter post around lunchtime Wednesday. The post was accompanied by a picture of five women. Smith has continued to retweet supportive messages about the ad.