The campaign ad that the Rick Perry campaign released last week that targeted openly gay service members as a sign that something is wrong with the country irked the gay and lesbian community, as well as some gay Republicans who inadvertently outed one of Perry's gay campaign advisers. In his ad, Perry claimed "there's something wrong in this country when gays can openly serve in the military but our kids cannot openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."
Tony Fabrizio, the Perry campaign's lead pollster, had kept his sexual orientation quiet but was outed in Tweets by leaders of GOProud, a Republican gay activist group, about Perry's ad.
Jimmy Salvia with GOProud Tweeted, "I've just about had it with the *** who line their pockets with checks from anti-gay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus."
Journalist Andrew Breitbart resigned from the GOProud board on Saturday, saying "On numerous occasions I have spoken with [GOProud leaders] Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron of the significant impact the practice of “outing” had in my evolution from the political left to the right. I was under the absolute impression that both agreed. I have a zero tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual’s sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction."
GOProud leaders say that they had no idea that Fabrizio was not already out, but added:
Let us be crystal clear, however, Tony Fabrizio is not the victim here. Tony Fabrizio has lined his pockets for years with money from gay groups and is now one of the chief architects of a campaign strategy – not just an isolated television ad – intended to demonize gay people in order to score political points. Fabrizio claims he opposed the latest anti-gay Perry television ad. If Fabrizio really does oppose the ad and the broader strategy then the honorable and decent thing to do would be to resign from the campaign. Tony Fabrizio is no junior staffer he is one of the top campaign pollsters and strategists in the country.
Neither Fabrizio nor the Perry campaign have commented on the controversy. Fabrizio, however, had earlier commented that the ad was "nuts."
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Here's Perry's "man of faith" ad, in which he claims:
I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.
As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.
I'm Rick Perry and I approve this message.