SACRAMENTO (CBS13/CNN) – A jarring new campaign video with Sacramento ties is now on the national stage less than a week before the midterm elections.
The video is part of a tweet by President Donald Trump featuring Luis Bracamontes – who was in the country illegally and had been deported two times before he killed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County sheriff’s detective Michael Davis Jr. in a crime spree.
“I’m going to kill more cops soon,” a grinning Bracamontes is shown saying in court as captions flash across the screen reading “Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay.”
The president rallied support for Republicans locked in races too close to call in Florida, kicking off a busy week of last-minute campaigning before the mid-term elections.
“Everything we have achieved – and it’s monumental – is at stake in this election,” Pres. Trump narrates in the ad.
The ad recalls the notorious “Willie Horton” campaign ad financed by supporters of the George H.W. Bush campaign in the 1988 presidential election. Horton was a convicted murderer who committed rape while furloughed under a program 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.
Trump’s web video, 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. Given that Trump distributed it from his Twitter account, It also comes with all the symbolic significance of the presidency itself.
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 center of the Democratic campaign.
“This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst,” Perez said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“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.”
Over six days, the president will be at nearly a dozen “Make America Great” rallies in eight states.
Each of those states supported him in 2016 – most now have a Senate seat up for grabs.
And now, with a targeted new spot and sharp rhetoric, this tragic Sacramento case finds itself at the center of a broader immigration push to energize voters just days before they head to the polls.
The president also said yesterday he wants to up the number of troops sent to the US-Mexico border to as many as 15,000.
Right now, a caravan of migrants from South and Central America is now traveling through Mexico hoping to seek refuge in the US.