There are a lot of things one could say about Herman Cain's wonderfully weird ad about President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus plan, but the suffocating goldfish stands out.

Animal-rights advocates aren't pleased with the Web video (below) that Cain Solutions, the former presidential candidate's post-campaign project, released Thursday. A suffocating goldfish, spilled out of its fishbowl by a little girl, is a macabre metaphor for the economy under the Obama stimulus. With the girl's screaming plea about the 'conomy, it was made for Mark Block-esque virality.

The YouTube caption under the video says no fish were harmed in the making of the video (He even has a Twitter accound, @Gorfin_Goldfish). Animal advocate group PETA, however, called the treatment of the goldfish thoughtless.

If Herman Cain has his finger on the pulse of technology, then the fish will have been a simulation, PETA spokesperson Nicole Dao said in a statement. If it wasn't, then he doesn't, and there's no more excuse for causing distress to a little fish than there is for strapping a dog to the roof of your car and speeding down the highway. Both are thoughtless, unsophisticated, un-innovative, and callous acts.

Dao, of course, was referring to the story of when presidential candidate Mitt Romney strapped his dog Seamus on to the roof of his car (in a kennel) on a 12-hour ride to Canada that resurfaced during the election.

Talking Points Memo got the scoop from Cain Connections consultant Brad Marston, who indicated the goldfish was indeed real and said the animal is doing just fine.

It is actually swimming happily in the pond at the home of the videographer Chris Burgard. Marsonton said, adding via e-mail: If it was harmed it didn't complain. :-)

The goldfish, turns out, also has its own Twitter account that aims to dispell rumors of an unfortunate cameo. In response to PETA's comment, @Gorfin_Goldfish wrote, PETA attacks @THEHermanCain for my ad but does this? and linked to an article from the website PETA Kills Animals

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