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'Racist' Trump Ad Blaming Democrats for 'Letting in' Cop Killer Shocks Americans Ahead of Mid-term Polls

The controversial video, pinned to the top of Trump's social media feed, blames Democrats for allowing an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who killed two police officers in Sacramento in 2014.

PTI

Updated:November 1, 2018, 6:14 PM IST
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'Racist' Trump Ad Blaming Democrats for 'Letting in' Cop Killer Shocks Americans Ahead of Mid-term Polls
File photo of Donald Trump.
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Washington: Days before the crucial mid-term elections, US President Donald Trump has posted a divisive campaign advertisement on his Twitter account which he hopes would boost the Republican party's campaign.

The controversial video, now pinned to the top of his social media feed, blames the Democrats for "letting in" Luis Bracamontes — an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who killed two police officers in Sacramento in 2014.

Bracamontes, who had previously been deported twice, was sentenced to death for the murders earlier this year.

The video — produced for the Trump campaign — and posted by President Trump shows Bracamontes grinning in court and threatening to “kill more cops soon”.

The ad recalls the notorious "Willie Horton" campaign ad financed by supporters of the George HW Bush campaign in the 1988 presidential election. Horton was a convicted murderer who committed rape while furloughed under a programme 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, CNN reported.

The Trump campaign'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, it said.

Given that Trump distributed it from his Twitter account, it also comes with all the symbolic significance of the presidency itself, the network, who is often criticised by the president, commented.

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 centre of the Democratic campaign.

"This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst," Perez said, ahead of the November 6 elections when Americans will vote for members of both chambers of Congress, as well as for governors in 36 out of 50 states.

"This is fear mongering. ... They have to fear monger and his dog whistle of all dog whistles is immigration. This has been Donald Trump's playbook for so long."

Controversy over the new ad is certain to explode across the final days of the election in which polls suggest Democrats could take back the House of Representatives but Republicans could keep or even expand their Senate majority.

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 American soil.

"Who else would Democrats let in?" a caption asks.
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