A TV commercial that Ford Motor Co. ran in early September touted the fact that the automaker hadn’t taken any federal bailout dollars. Its abrupt disappearance led to speculation, first in The Detroit News, that the White House pressured Ford to remove it because of its potential political influence, as it bolstered the tea party ideals of self-reliance and small government.
“It just seems fishy,” customer Chris McDaniel told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Two months after buying an F-150 pickup, Ford marketers took McDaniel by surprise when they ushered him into a mock press conference where his populist message that slammed President Barack Obama’s bailout of the U.S. automotive industry was featured in the commercial. He said in the commercial that he’d chosen a Ford because the company was not part of the bailout.
McDaniel described to Hannity his family’s financial uncertainty after his wife was laid off in 2008, and said the truck represented the hard work and determination that are required when times are tough.
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“I had to pack a lunch . . . downsize and do more with less and make it on my own without government interfering,” McDaniel said. “It’s that personal responsibility that we’re missing . . . Isn’t it time the government starts packing a lunch and taking a brown bag to work and stop spending so much money that we don’t have?”
Ford has said the ad was discontinued as part of the normal commercial cycle.
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