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Never Aired Ford 1976 Campaign Ad, Courtesy of Ford Presidential Library

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Published on Nov 5, 2012

Late in his 1976 campaign against Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford's media team produced a 5-minute commercial that shows Ford (who had survived two near-miss assassination attempts) giving a speech during which a cherry bomb goes off. The President clearly presumes it is an assassin firing, and flinches. In the following scenes, we see Ford parading through Dallas in a motorcade similar to John Kennedy's fatal caravan of 1963. The narrator says: "When a limousine can parade openly through the streets of Dallas, there's a change that's come over America."

Ford's team hoped the commercial would show that their man had closed down the bad thirteen years that led from JFK's assassination to Vietnam and Watergate. But a secret focus group found the ad too shocking and emotional. The commercial was kept in a vault and never aired.

The Film is courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

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