In the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party accuse Democrats of plotting to help people they depict as Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers.
The new spot, tweeted by the President five days before the midterm elections, is the most extreme step yet in the most inflammatory closing argument of any campaign in recent memory.
The Trump campaign ad is the latest example of the President’s willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign.
The ad — produced for the Trump campaign — features Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican man who had previously been deported but returned to the United States and was convicted in February in the slaying of two California deputies.
“I’m going to kill more cops soon,” a grinning Bracamontes is shown saying in court as captions flash across the screen reading “Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay.”
The ad recalls the notorious “Willie Horton” campaign ad financed by supporters of the George H.W. Bush campaign in the 1988 presidential election. Horton was a convicted murderer who committed rape while furloughed under a program in Massachusetts where Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis was governor.
The ad has since come to be seen as one of the most racially problematic in modern political history since it played into white fear and African-American stereotypes. It was regarded at the time as devastating to the Dukakis campaign.
Trump’s ad, while just as shocking as the Horton spot, carries added weight since, unlike its 1988 predecessor, it bears the official endorsement of the leader of the Republican Party — Trump — and is not an outside effort. Given that Trump distributed it from his Twitter account, It also comes with all the symbolic significance of the presidency itself.
In a first reaction, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the ad was a sign of desperation and suggested that Trump was losing the argument over health care that is at the center of the Democratic campaign.
The Trump ad also flashes to footage of the migrant caravan of Central American asylum seekers that is currently in Mexico, which Trump says is preparing an invasion of the United States, implying that everyone in the column of people fleeing repression, poverty and economic blight is bent on murder and serious crime on US soil.
“Who else would Democrats let in?” a caption asks.
A source close to the White House told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the web ad was produced by Jamestown Associates for the Trump campaign for the midterms and was designed to fit into Trump’s broader immigration push and to change the argument from “family unification to invasion.”
“It’s clearly working. We are all talking about it and not health care,” the source said.
Trump has repeatedly warned that the caravan is laden with criminals or also includes Middle Eastern terrorists. He has offered no evidence for such claims, however, and even admitted last week there is no proof to support them.
And there you have it, folks . . . the Republican Party has NOTHING — the “tax break” is a lie; no infrastructure bill; destroying long-standing alliances that have kept the world at peace; added $1.3 TRILLION to the national debt. Hate and fear is all they have.