Features Immigrants Flooding America Atop Trains, With Vigilantes Hunting Them Down
Just 12 hours after acknowledging that sometimes he says the "wrong thing," Donald Trump released his first TV ad of the general election campaign, a stunning attack portraying immigrants as "terrorists and dangerous criminals." The 30-second spot will air in four battleground states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida, and the Trump campaign will spend $4.8 million to run them for ten days starting today. It's being labeled a "dog whistle" and being panned as a "net negative."
The ad also attacks his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, and implies the election is "rigged" – while stating outright the system is too, and blaming the former secretary of state for that.
"In Hillary Clinton's America the system stays rigged against Americans," a voiceover says in the ad, below. "Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open. It's more of the same, but worse."
"Donald Trump's America is secure. Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secured. Our families: safe. Change that makes America safe again."
The imagery is especially disturbing. A Photoshopped version shows what looks like a wrinkled and old and sad Hillary Clinton – even though Trump is older. Stock footage shows what we're supposed to believe are undocumented immigrants riding atop trains flooding into America. Then, in "Trump's America," helicopter patrols, SUVs, and vigilantes (yes, vigilantes) roam the desert apparently ready to hunt down the "illegal immigrants."
Is that a f***ing armed border vigilante in Trump's ad? JFC. pic.twitter.com/rNYt9Pkxya— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) August 19, 2016
Honest question on screenshot from Trump's new ad: Where are immigrants riding the tops of trains into the U.S.? pic.twitter.com/7oLt63Pd1d— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) August 19, 2016
Clinton campaign Press Secretary Brian Fallon offered this take:
The reviews are in: Trump's ad brings latest pivot attempt to a screeching halt.https://t.co/jIlaaANcw1— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) August 19, 2016
UC Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen says the ad offers a "enough of a dog whistle to those who believe that Democrats are stealing elections."
Former Senior Advisor to President Obama Dan Pfeiffer:
Trump's ad will be just as effective at consolidating his base as it will be in exciting Hillary's to vote, which means it's a net negative— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 19, 2016
Some responses via Twitter:
Trump's new general elex ad is practically a remake of the immigration/terror ad he ran in Iowa in January: https://t.co/P8l3GPg3LZ— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) August 19, 2016
.@FrankSharry: “Trump’s ad is a pack of lies wrapped in the rhetoric of his bigoted white nationalist buddies."— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) August 19, 2016
Trump's ugly and dishonest new TV ad shows he isn't changing a thing https://t.co/qpRBV1i00Q— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) August 19, 2016
This is a VERY good ad concept…for driving up Dem turnout & depressing turnout from marginal Trump supporters https://t.co/nbwmxaxYGG— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) August 19, 2016
Trump Thursday: I regret some things I've said— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) August 19, 2016
Trump Friday: *releases fact-free ad demonizing refugees and immigrants*
Trump's new ad continues his primary effort - consolidate the @BreitbartNews vote— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) August 19, 2016
Image: Screenshot via YouTube