Trump Tweets Willie Horton-Like Anti-Immigration Ad

Charlene Craig
November 2, 2018

The video, which Trump tweeted late Wednesday, alleges without evidence that Democrats were responsible for allowing Bracamontes into the U.S. It comes amid a frenzy of hardline immigration proposals pushed out by Trump in the final stages of the campaign, including sending troops to the border and revoking birthright citizenship.

The video is reminiscent of the infamous 1988 "Willie Horton" ad used against Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and condemned as racist.

The ad shows old courtroom footage of Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant who was accused of killing two Sacramento, California-area sheriff's deputies in 2014 (he was convicted and given the death penalty this past April), and it attempts to link him to the Central American migrant caravan that Trump has been characterizing as an "invasion".

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On the same day Trump tweeted the Bracamotes video, he also posted a similar campaign-ad styled video on his Twitter feed with a hashtag #JOBSNOTMOBS. Reporter for the Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra tweeted that Democrats would "look like fools" if they appeared to be defending criminals like Bracamontes by attacking Trump over the ad.

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. Jeff Flake said the ad "is just a new low in campaigning". The ad, which was financed by supporters of Bush's campaign focused on Horton, a convicted murderer, who was released on a weekend furlough program (which had been supported by Dukakis) and committed assault and rape while he was out. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNN described the video as "the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years".

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Al Cardenas, former head of the American Conservative Union, tweeted at Trump: "You are a despicable divider; the worse social poison to afflict our country in decades".

"The legacy of these sorts of ads and political plays are not good; they bring shame to the candidate and the people who worked on them", he added.

"The Willie Horton ad gave George Herbert Walker Bush his one big black eye in history", said Brinkley. The man also featured in a January video tied to the anniversary of Trump's January 20, 2017 inauguration.

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