As Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie battle it out to win the gubernatorial race in Virginia, the candidates are trading attacks in ads meant to invoke an emotional response.
The latest offering from a Latino group supporting Northam takes the attacks to a new level and is drawing extremely negative responses from viewers and the Gillespie campaign.
Described by the Washington Examiner as a “horrifying and disturbing attack video,” a one-minute video from the Latino Victory Foundation, titled “American Nightmare,” includes young black, Muslim and Latino children hunted and chased by a man in a pickup truck. On the truck that stalks children in the ad, symbols of support for Gillespie and the Tea Party, as well as a Confederate flag, are visible, indicating the white, male driver has a Republican/conservative connection.
The Examiner describes the scenes in the video (watch below):
“In one scene, as the pickup nears, a child is heard yelling to his pal, ‘run!’ In another, a young child is shown slamming into a chain link fence, his eyes wide in fear, as the pickup races up.
“At the end, the children are shown waking up from a nightmare and watching a nighttime parade of torch-bearing whites on TV. The announcer says, ‘Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American Dream?’”
Latino Victory Foundation, a group headed by actress Eva Longoria that claims to be “building Latino political power by electing progressive Latino candidates to all levels of government” suggests with the ad that if Gillespie is elected governor of Virginia, blacks, Latinos and Muslims would be hunted down. GOP candidate Ed Gillespie has come from behind to take the lead over Democrat Ralph Northam in the Virginia gubernatorial race, by highlighting Democrats’ weakness on sanctuary cities and crime.
Gillespie said the Latino Victory video is “sickening.” His campaign manager, Chris Leavitt, stated that while Gillespie is focused on delivering ads which highlight the “many policy differences between Ralph Northam and him,” Northam and his allies have launched “a desperate smear campaign” against the Republican candidate.
“The lieutenant governor was roundly rebuked for exploiting imagery from the tragedy of Charlottesville for political points,” Leavitt said. “Now his allies have reached a new low with a disgusting, vile television ad seeking to instill fear in our children with that same imagery.”
According to Leavitt, the ad is not only an attack on Gillespie, it’s an attack on the citizens of the state.
“This is an all-out attack on the people of Virginia. This latest ad gives a clear indication of just what Ralph Northam and his national Democratic allies think of all of us, and it’s sickening,” Leavitt concluded.
Leavitt isn’t the only person disturbed by the video. Responses on Latino Victory’s Twitter and YouTube accounts have been negative, as well.
As noted by the Examiner, one YouTube viewer wrote, “As a Latino, first-generation college student myself, I am disgusted by this ad. To relegate Ed Gillespie, the son of an Irish immigrant, to racist individuals who are not part of the legitimate political spectrum is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine. You can definitely count that I’ll be voting next week, and it won’t be for Northam.”
On Twitter, users have called the ad offensive, shameful ridiculous and stupid. One user, @AngeloRayGomez, wrote, “This video is disgusting propaganda.”
Watch the new campaign video below, followed by outraged reaction on social media.
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) October 30, 2017
In reality, your rhetoric is what keeps minorities enslaved in poverty & victimhood. This video is disgusting propaganda.
— Angelo Ray Gomez (@AngeloRayGomez) October 30, 2017
Shameful ad. Playing off of stereotypes to foment feat and division,
— Andrew Mullins (@AndrewWMullins) October 30, 2017
this ad is offensive.
— Amanda Carey Elliott (@AmandaCarey1) October 30, 2017
This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen, and I lived through a generation that played lawn darts. How utterly embarrassing for you.
— TexasTwister (@KeleJohnson) October 30, 2017
As a Latino, I find this completely ridiculous and embarrassing for an organization who claims to be for Latinos to promote. #vagov
— Rick Canton ℹ️ (@TheRickCanton) October 30, 2017