A full-page newspaper advertisement that features a photo of Adolf Hitler and urges black voters to reject Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s re-election bid has drawn criticism from the Democratic incumbent and her Republican opponent.
The ad, which appeared in this week’s editions of the Michigan Chronicle, the city’s largest black newspaper, takes aim at Democrats and includes a swastika and a photo of Granholm, who is facing Dick DeVos in the November election.
“African-American voters should not only demand respect from the Democrats but also stop putting all their eggs in one basket,” the ad reads. “Say NO to Gov. Granholm in November!”
The ad was placed by Voice the Vote, an independent political action committee based in Detroit that says it has no connection to DeVos’ campaign. The ad drew criticism on Thursday from Granholm and DeVos.
“There is no place in Michigan politics for this ad. It is appalling and this approach is despicable and wrong,” DeVos said in a statement. “Neither I nor my campaign condone this type of advertisement.”
The ad features the story of Jesse Owens, who humiliated Hitler by winning four track and field gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and made campaign appearances for Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon, who was defeated by Democratic incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The ad also includes photos of Democratic Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
“To compare me and Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter to Hitler is reprehensible,” Granholm said during an appearance in Highland Park. “And I do think people are going to want to know who’s responsible for it.”
Political consultant Adolph Mongo helped put the ad together and defended the use of the Hitler image.
“Nobody is saying that Granholm and Hitler are the same person; it’s just telling a story,” Mongo told the Detroit Free Press.
“Black voters are not getting any love from Jennifer Granholm and the Democratic Party and that’s what this ad is about,” Nataki Harbin, Mongo’s stepdaughter and the PAC’s treasurer, told The Detroit News.