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Today, America’s Voice launched 2020AdWatch.com – a new project to track xenophobic and racist ads that candidates, campaigns, and PACs are running this election cycle. The project mirrors a similar effort from the 2018 midterm elections and will rely on Facebook and Google tools, monitoring of more traditional spaces – including TV, radio, and newspapers – and submissions.
This week, Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign launched over a dozen different buys of an anti-immigrant ad, using footage from what appears to be Customs and Border Protection tear-gassing migrants at the border last year. This comes less than two weeks after a mass shooter killed twenty-two people in El Paso, Texas, specifically singling out Latinos and leaving behind an anti-immigrant manifesto explaining his intentions. The Trump campaign already spent millions on Facebook ads talking about the Hispanic migrant “invasion,” and we expect they and other Republican candidates, committees and PACs will spend millions more. We have to be vigilant, expose these ads for what they are, and make clear that words matter.
According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, “Trump’s failed political strategy has done enough damage to this country, and it’s time for him to just stop. Unfortunately, despite evidence that this strategy backfired in 2018, Trump believes that fear-mongering, attacking immigrants, and spewing racism and xenophobia – regardless of the consequences or carnage – is a winning political strategy. Trump has already put racism on the map; we are just going to track it. Ahead of the 2020 elections, America’s Voice will be tracking and shining a spotlight on Republicans’ pattern of hate, and we will call out the candidates, campaigns, committees, superPACs, and donors responsible for them. As we saw in Charlottesville, in Pittsburgh, and now in El Paso, words matter; they have meaning and real life consequences; and we cannot sit on the sidelines while Republicans continue to reinforce the same racist and xenophobic narrative that has already cost many people’s lives.”