Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, and even Hardball host Chris Matthews have all said it: Mitt Romney is an awful lot like fictional father figure Ward Cleaver, from the 1950s sitcom Leave it to Beaver. What with his old-timey verbal quirks like, “H-E-double hockey sticks,” and his penchant for doling out moral instruction, the Republican presidential candidate sometimes seems to have been lifted straight out of a time capsule preserved from a rosier version of a decade past.
But maybe the 1950s is reaching too far back.
Humorist Martin Lewis had only to look to the 1980s for inspiration to create a new series of web videos, featuring iconic TV pitchman Joe Isuzu.
Back in the ‘80s, Joe Isuzu, played by actor David Leisure, made his mark by saying just about anything in order to sell Isuzu cars and trucks. In one ad, for example, Joe Isuzu claimed that, “each Isuzu pickup is built tough, so you can drive it forever, and so inexpensive, you can buy one with your spare change.” Most of the ads would end with the famous catch phrase, “You have our word on it.”
Well Joe Isuzu is back to practicing his old trade - or trick - except this time he is pitching some of Mitt Romney’s “guarantees” to the American public.
In the new ad, Romney slowly morphs into the fictional car salesman as he promises 12 million new jobs, lower taxes for all, and protections for Medicare, all while flashing quotes of contradictory statements made by the candidate in months past.
It is not the first time that Romney has been compared to a slick salesman, nor is it the first time that Joe Isuzu has popped up in a presidential election. In 1988, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis said in a debate that if his Republican opponent George H.W. Bush kept peddling what he considered to be impossible promises, Bush was going to “become the Joe Isuzu of American politics.”
Matthews called the new Isuzu ad “brilliant” on Wednesday night’s Hardball, so watch and enjoy all three Isuzu spots. It will be fun, you have our word on it.