Last week, Donald Trump dug up a two-year-old quote from former First Lady Barbara Bush for one of his short Instagram attack ads aimed at her son, Jeb Bush. But in a new video posted today, the Trump campaign has taken a far darker turn.
The latest ad juxtaposes Bush’s 2014 statement about people who enter the country illegally committing an “act of love” with images of undocumented immigrants who have been charged with and/or convicted of murder. “Forget love. It’s time to get tough!” the words on the screen read before Trump’s name and slogan appear.
Left out of Trump’s take is the fact that Bush was rejecting the idea that the act of illegal immigration itself should be considered a “felony” and was not referring to additional crimes that a small percentage of those immigrants might commit once in the country.
Watch Trump’s ad below, via Instagram:
Already, the video is widely drawing comparisons to an attack ad employed by Jeb’s father George H.W. Bushs against Michael Dukakis in 1988 that featured Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who committed heinous crimes while out of prison on Massachusetts’ weekend furlough program. Bush used the Horton story to paint his rival as weak on crime.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 31, 2015
Surprised it took this long for Trump to attack Jeb with a Willie Horton-style ad https://t.co/zYHQ0AqRYx
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) August 31, 2015
Donald Trump goes Willie Horton on Jeb Bush. As sick as this is, Trump and the GOP got this playbook from Jeb's dad. https://t.co/ec7YuwVd3q
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 31, 2015
Trump is out with Willie Horton-ish video splicing Jeb's "act of love" comment on immigrants. https://t.co/CNhY316i2G
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) August 31, 2015
Is there an irony in Donald Trump going up with a Willie Horton-esque attack against Jeb Bush?
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) August 31, 2015
Trump runs a Willie Horton (Instagram) ad against Jeb Bush, with the Hispanic Menace replacing the Black Menace: https://t.co/Cr9yOGgMUV
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 31, 2015
Donald Trump releases fearmongering Willie Horton-style ad about undocumented immigrants http://t.co/zDc5vgX1J3
— Esther Y. Lee 李御璽 (@estherindc) August 31, 2015
Deplorable Donald Trump Goes Full Racist With Willie Horton Style Ad Attacking Latinos http://t.co/hWXPsy091u "racist bullying"
— Lin Dunn (@Coach_Dunn) August 31, 2015
— Alex Hayden DiLalla (@AlexDiLalla) August 31, 2015
Donald Trump Goes Willie Horton on Jeb Bush http://t.co/FxcBfyZz5A
— MoJo Politics (@MoJoPolitics) August 31, 2015
Chilling Trump video attacks Bush, Willie Horton-style, for calling illegal immigration "act of love" http://t.co/OhgXO2A4wg
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) August 31, 2015
The fact that Trump is using Willie Horton-style tactics on a member of the Bush clan is sign that karma is very real
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 31, 2015
Three years after George H.W. Bush won his presidential bid, his campaign manager Lee Atwater, who was on his death bed at the time, apologized to Dukakis for the “naked cruelty” of the attack ad.
“In 1988, fighting Dukakis, I said that I ‘would strip the bark off the little bastard’ and ‘make Willie Horton his running mate,'” Atwater said. “I am sorry for both statements: the first for its naked cruelty, the second because it makes me sound racist, which I am not.”
Just this past weekend, Trump said, “I just want to talk about my accomplishments. I’m not looking to attack anybody. I would rather have positive TV ads. Absolutely.” Guess that doesn’t apply to Instagram.
Watch the 1988 Willie Horton ad below:
[Photo via screengrab]
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