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Yes, the GOP Did Make an Ad Mocking Rachel Maddow and 'Lean Forward


"It's got national significance."

Remember MSNBC's "Lean Forward" videos that have been mercilessly mocked since debuting a little over a year ago? Well, the National Republican Congressional Committee does, and it's now released an ad of it's own mocking the one featuring host Rachel Maddow.

The video, titled "Lean Backward," is a comedic effort to raise support for the Keystone Pipeline, which would deliver oil from Canada to the U.S. It shows a Maddow lookalike in glasses, a brunette wig, and a hard hat in front of the same backdrop -- the Hoover Dam -- featured in the original ad. And it even uses Maddow's argument for government-supported infrastructure projects.

"We’ve got a project like this waiting for the President’s go ahead –- supported by Republicans and Democrats, labor unions. It’d provide energy security and up to 130,000 jobs," the Maddow doppelganger says:

“Even Rachel Maddow should be able to understand the benefits of a project like Keystone XL, which not only can help with our country’s energy needs but also has the potential to bring tens of thousands of jobs to a struggling American economy,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay in a press release. “Unfortunately, Americans are doomed to wait in uncertainty as President Obama continues to side with wealthy anti-energy activist donors to his campaign instead of making a simple decision to help get our economy back on track.”

Mediaite's Tommy Christopher, however, isn't too thrilled with the ad. He feels it is misleading:

The ad, entitled “Lean Backwards,” uses the Maddow Hoover Dam spot as its template, and claims that the Keystone pipeline will “provide energy security and up to 130,000 jobs.”

That figure is wildly in excess of even the 20,000 jobs number quoted by TransCanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, and even that figure is inflated; 6,000 of those jobs are counted twice (based on 1 job year each for two years of construction), and many of the other indirect jobs they counted won’t even be created in the U.S.

The ad does correctly point out that the pipeline enjoys some support from Democrats and labor unions, but doesn’t mention the significant environmental risks involved. This isn’t a question of whether some beavers might be put out of their habitat; the Keystone pipeline poses a threat to one of the world’s largest aquifers, which supplies irrigation and drinking water to eight states.

By the way, if you'd like to compare the two ads, we've included Maddow's original below:

(H/T: HuffPo)

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