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Carly Fiorina defends 'demon sheep' video [Updated]

February 4, 2010 |  4:12 pm

Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina stood by her now infamous “demon sheep” ad on Thursday morning, arguing that the online video, widely panned by pundits but also widely viewed, did what it was intended to do – challenge the underpinnings of primary opponent Tom Campbell’s candidacy.

“Look, what I like about the ad is first, it’s funny, but it’s also factually correct. Despite all the commentary about this ad, no one, including Tom Campbell, has even attempted to dispute the facts because the facts are true,” Fiorina said while speaking to reporters after hosting a small-business round-table in Vernon. “The facts are Tom Campbell calls himself a fiscal conservative, and he is anything but. Someone who believes we ought to close California’s budget deficit by raising the gasoline tax by 32 cents a gallon is not a fiscal conservative.”

Fiorina’s campaign caused an uproar on Wednesday when it released a three-minute, 21-second attack ad that features a pastoral field of grazing sheep, which are apparently supposed to represent fiscal conservatives, and one demonic-looking interloper, a man in a sheep suit with blazing red eyes who is supposed to represent Campbell as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The video has been seen more than 100,000 times on YouTube.

Both Campbell, a former congressman and Chuck DeVore, the Orange County assemblyman who is the third GOP primary candidate, seized upon the hoopla, trying to use the ad to raise money and mock Fiorina’s judgment.

[Updated at 3:46 p.m.: Campbell's camp deemed the affair a "full Mutton Meltdown." Campbell spokesman Jamie Fisfis said that "contrary to Carly Fiorina's insulting portrayal of fiscal conservatives as sheep, these are in fact involved people who engage the issues and ask tough questions.  And unlike Carly Fiorina, they have fought alongside Tom Campbell on the front lines of spending reform and supported these reforms with their votes."]

Fiorina said she saw the ad before it was unveiled publicly, and acknowledged that the reaction in some quarters has been less than kind.

“The reaction is all over the map: It’s the best ad ever, it’s the worst ad ever,” she said.

-- Seema Mehta