Huffpost Politics

Rick Berg Ad Attacked By YouTube Commenters

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A YouTube commenter compared Senate candidate Rick Berg's new video to
A YouTube commenter compared Senate candidate Rick Berg's new video to "Mean Girls."

The Republican nominee for North Dakota's open Senate seat is being attacked by commenters on YouTube -- including a comparison to the 2004 Lindsay Lohan film "Mean Girls" -- for an ad he released last week featuring four women talking negatively about his Democratic opponent while drinking coffee.

Rep. Rick Berg's (R-N.D.) campaign posted the ad, entitled "Again," to the campaign's YouTube account and enabled comments and ratings to be posted on the ad. As of Wednesday afternoon, the ad brought in 70 dislikes and four likes. The ad features four senior citizens drinking coffee in a diner while criticizing Democrat Heidi Heitkamp over her support for the Affordable Care Act and praise for President Barack Obama.

The ad ends with one of the women saying that Heitkamp's actions are "not the North Dakota way." Berg has made "the North Dakota way" his political tagline.

The 28 comments posted to the video have largely been negative, with attacks on Berg, the message, the script and the acting, which was described as stilted.

"So is this a senior citizen remake of 'Mean Girls'?" commenter JaDav40 wrote.

"Wow, those are so transparently sentences which only some political hack would say, and no actual normal woman that age, it's almost laughable," commenter habeebee wrote. "Couldn't you have made the scene at least a little bit believable?"

Berg has turned off comments on several of his YouTube videos and for the ones that allow comments, most have zero or one comment. Berg's spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

A review of other recent comments on the ad shows a mix of those who routinely like and make favorable comments on Democratic YouTube videos and those who have not made political videos the center of their YouTube community. JaDav40's comments on YouTube have largely been centered around videos of "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne," and "The Jeffersons" along with a recent comment on the 1988 Bette Midler movie "Big Business."

This is not the first Berg ad to raise eyebrows. Earlier this year, Berg's first television ad was found to be almost identical to an ad used by a state legislative candidate in Virginia.

The North Dakota Senate race has become one of the most competitive in the country, with Heitkamp, a former state attorney general, and Berg trading the lead back and forth in recent polls.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has run three ads attacking Berg, the first three ads the Washington-based group has run nationally this year.

UPDATE: 5:11 p.m. -- The comments on Berg's YouTube ad have been deleted and further comments on the video were blocked shortly after this story was published. Berg's spokesman was unable to immediately respond to a follow up phone call from HuffPost.

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