Trump Tweets Willie Horton-Like Anti-Immigration Ad

Rep. Beto O'Rourke the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas has raised $31 million from small donors

Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images Rep. Beto O'Rourke the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas has raised $31 million from small donors

President Trump is leading an 11th-hour Republican charge in Florida amid a surge of interest from young voters that could secure the pivotal state for the Democrats on Tuesday.

"Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!" reads text on the ad, which shows an unrepentant Bracamontes smiling in court and promising to kill more officers if he gets out. "I will break out soon and kill more". "Democrats let him stay".

"Who else would Democrats let in?" is superimposed over images of Bracamontes, who is now on death row at San Quentin for the 2014 slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr. The man also featured in a January video tied to the anniversary of Trump's January 20, 2017 inauguration. The tweet is pinned to the top of the president's Twitter page so as to be prominent.

Critics blasted the president for releasing the spot and compared it to the blatantly racist "Willie Horton ad" that George H.W. Bush's campaign used in 1988 against Democratic candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Horton was a convicted murderer who committed rape while furloughed under a programme in MA where Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis was governor.

That ad was part of a blitz by Mr Trump's campaign, and his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, did several interviews to promote it.

"This was a classic example of racial cuing", Claire Jean Kim, a political-science professor at the University of California at Irvine, said in a 2012 PBS special.

Dukakis supported the furlough program. "You've spent years drumming up fear of immigrants, misrepresenting the danger they pose, blurring the line between criminals and noncriminals (including "dreamers") and sending dog whistles - no, make that trumpet blasts - to the white nationalists".

Despite being morally apprehensible, Kim also admits the ad's strategy was "incredibly effective", and until this day "sets the bar for racial cuing". "I hope this doesn't work".

Wednesday evening, the video was discussed at length by Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon on CNN.

It wasn't just liberals who took issue with this latest "fake news" attack by the President.

CNN described the video as "the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years". The ad was widely criticised for emphasising that Horton was black.

Check out more reactions to the commercial below.

But something tells us, Trump isn't anxious about that.

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