Republican Rob Astorino is using a mushroom cloud from an old political ad to remind voters about a federal investigation into what he called a “cloud of corruption” around Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Astorino’s new spot, to be broadcast around the state on Tuesday, mimics the “daisy girl” ad that helped Lyndon B. Johnson defeat Barry Goldwater for president in 1964.
Back then, the mushroom cloud suggested that Goldwater was a reckless extremist. Astorino said Monday, “We thought it was appropriate 50 years later when this state is under a cloud of corruption.”
It opens with a child counting daisy petals. A narrator issues a countdown. Then there’s a loud explosion and a huge nuclear-bomb mushroom cloud that morphs into Cuomo’s face.
Superimposed are the words “Andrew Cuomo under federal investigation for corruption, witness tampering, obstruction of justice.”
The voice ominously says: “These are the stakes. Do we re-elect a governor who may end up in jail?”
Astorino, the Westchester County executive, said the ad was deliberately provocative “to get people talking about the corruption in this state.”
The commercial alluded to Cuomo’s dismantling of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission. Astorino said Cuomo shut down the commission’s investigation when “it got too close.”