Carson Campaign Says It Has Another Rap Ad in the Works

Aspiring Mogul Rhymes on Behalf of Aspiring President

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Presidential candidate Ben Carson.
Presidential candidate Ben Carson. Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is planning to release another rap ad next week, following one the campaign released Thursday in several southern markets, an aide said.

The second, similar spot, also by rapper Aspiring Mogul, will likewise head to the radio, although Mr. Carson's campaign yet hasn't decided where to place it, according to communications director Doug Watts.

"We understand that this one-minute rap is not going to win a Grammy, but it does open up lines of communication" to young African-American voters, said Mr. Watts.

Mr. Carson, who is on a book tour, sounded a skeptical note about the rap ad on Thursday.

"There are people in the campaign that felt that that was a good way to do things and they are entitled to their opinion," he said at a book signing in Miami, according to CNN video. "I support them in doing that, but, you know, I probably would have taken a little different approach."

Aspiring Mogul reached out to the campaign several months ago and submitted a larger piece unsolicited, Mr. Watts said. The campaign asked him to cut it down to 60 seconds but "gave him zero direction" beyond that, Mr. Watts said.

The result was Thursday's ad, which went up in eight cities including Miami, Atlanta, Houston, and Mr. Carson's hometown, Detroit, ABC News reported earlier Thursday. Those markets roughly overlap with states that will vote in the so-called SEC primary on March 1.


Mr. Watts suggested the campaign's TV ads have not done as well as hoped -- and were quickly draining cash. The radio ad campaign is backed by $150,000, ABC reported and Mr. Watts confirmed.

"We've said from the beginning that one of the goals for Dr. Carson running for president was to broaden the tent, to broaden the communication with disaffected constituencies," Mr. Watts said. "We want people to know that we're ready for dialogue. We're going to be here to help. We're not standard Republicans. We want everyone to be in the boat."

Trump's first ads
The ad comes the same day rival Donald Trump announced his first paid campaign advertising -- radio spots backed by $300,000 in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Mr. Watts didn't immediately respond to questions about why the campaign isn't running the ad in South Carolina, a state with sizable African-American population (albeit one that is traditionally a Democratic stronghold) and an relatively open Republican primary. He did note Mr. Carson is on the TV airwaves in the state.

-- Bloomberg News

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