As President Trump lies, stokes fears, and tries to whip up a frenzy over border security and the caravan, the most of the GOP is marching in lockstep.
The drumbeat of ugly and race-baiting immigration attack ads continue in races across the country. Why? Because the “divide and distract” strategy as directed by Trump and Stephen Miller, has now become the GOP’s closing argument. This cynical political strategy seeks to incite racial panic in order to scare voters and distract from the GOP’s awful record on healthcare, taxes and corruption.
A recent CNN analysis by Catherine Shoichet finds that more than $150 million has been spent on immigration attack ads this year – up fivefold over 2014. America’s Voice has been tracking these anti-immigrant attack ads and featuring some of the ugliest examples at the new America’s Voice “Divide and Distract” website, which includes a searchable database of the worst of the worst immigration ads we’ve seen this cycle.
Among the new additions and recent “worst of the worst” examples of GOP anti-immigrant ads from recent days include:
- Virginia Senate race: Corey Stewart is running an ad about the “Illegal Alien Invasion,” which is includes a litany of anti-immigrant screeds. Last fall, Steve Bannon predicted “Corey Stewart is the reason Gillespie is going to win.” Gillespie lost badly. This ad exemplifies why Stewart will lose badly, too.
- Indiana Senate race: the NRSC has an islamophobic ad attacking Joe Donnelly over his opposition to the Muslim ban, noting, inaccurately that he’s also for open border and taxpayer funded benefits.
- GA-Gov: GOP candidate Brian Kemp has an ad attacking Stacey Abrams with the blatant lie that she “will let illegal immigrant vote.” Kemp is already infamous for his pick-up truck ad and is doubling down on his racist attacks.
- WI-Gov: GOP Governor Scott Walker is attacking Tony Evers because “he wants to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens – and driver’s licenses, too.” The ad shows a clip of Evers saying he’d give the tuition break to DACA students.
- IA-0: GOP Rep. Rod Blum is running a negative ad (seen here) invoking an image of MS-13 that’ was used to attack Laura Curran in New York last year, and this year it’s been deployed against Democrats Dawn Barlow in Tennessee, Jacky Rosen in Nevada, and Eric Swalwell in California. DailyKos Elections noted, “The spot goes full-on Ed Gillespie and uses images of heavily tattooed Latino men in El Salvador to argue Finkenauer wanted to ‘put criminal illegal aliens back on Iowa streets.'”
- IA-01: the Congressional Leadership Fund attacks Democratic candidate Abby Finkenauer as one of Iowa’s most liberal legislators because she opposed dangerous sanctuary cities harboring criminal illegal immigrants,’ claiming “illegal immigrants before Iowans.”
- IA-03: an ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund attacks Democratic candidate Cindy Axne by saying, “In Washington, Cindy Axne would vote with Nancy Pelosi for open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants, bringing more crime and drugs into local neighborhoods.”
- MI-06: the Congressional Leadership Fund has launched its first tv/digital ad attacking Democrat Matt Longjohn because he would ‘join liberal extremists who want to abolish ICE, the agency that enforces our immigration laws.”
- MN-02: Republican Jason Lewis is running an ad stating that his Democratic opponent, Angie Craig, won’t tell you “she’s against any border security. she’s even against the wall and cracking down on sanctuary cities.”
- In PA-08: Republican John Chrin is back up on Facebook his despicable ad which tries to blame Matt Cartwright for a horrific crime (the ad also has run on broadcast tv).
According to Matt Hildreth, America’s Voice Political Director:
Instead of running on kitchen table issues, most Republicans are marching in lockstep with Trump. They are demonizing brown people so that voters don’t focus on the GOP’s horrible record on healthcare, income inequality and corruption. They are fear mongering to divide us and distract us. This ugly and cynical strategy might work with the hardcore Trump base, but we are betting that a majority of Americans are tired of their transparent attempts at divide-and-conquer, are ready to hold Republicans accountable, and are ready for leaders who bring us together.”\