A group called the Latino Victory Fund produced an attack on Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. The video (see below) featured a pickup truck with a Confederate flag and an Ed Gillespie bumper sticker attempting to run down minority children.
NRO’s Alexandra DeSanctis reports that the Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad yesterday, after a minority immigrant in a truck ran over people in downtown Manhattan. The Fund also deleted its tweets promoting the ad, including one in which the group defended the video in the face of strong criticism.
Yet, in announcing the removal of the ad, the Fund seemed to double down on its defense. It stated:
We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see. Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.
Virginia Republicans might well be thinking, “bring them on.” The Fund’s “powerful” pickup truck ad seemed to be a boon for Gillespie. According to De Sanctis:
Not only has the [Fund] faced intense scrutiny in light of the Manhattan attack, but the ad may have in fact mobilized the Republican base in Virginia in a way even the Gillespie campaign couldn’t have done on its own. One CNN journalist reported on Tuesday night that donations to Gillespie tripled over the last two days, after the ad aired.
In one anecdote, a PR strategist reported that a contractor working on his house was incensed by the ad, saying, “I drive a truck. I wear a hat. I’m voting for Gillespie. My foreman and whole crew are Hispanic. I know their kids. I buy them gifts. But wow, I know what the Democrats think of me now.”
Democrat Ralph Northam has come under fire for backing the Latino Victory Fund ad. “Northam doesn’t just disagree with millions of Virginians who don’t share his liberal policy agenda. He disdains us!” Gillespie said on Fox News on Tuesday, an argument that was strengthened immensely by the Latino Victory Fund ad.
Even the Washington Post editorial board critiqued Northam in light of the ad, despite the fact that it wasn’t produced by his own campaign. “It behooves Mr. Northam, while he is offering criticism, to make clear that even though the anti-Gillespie spot was not a product of his campaign, his campaign wants no part of it,” the board wrote.
The left has a big problem. It can’t hear itself. Thus, it plays into the hands of Republicans. I believe that President Trump owes his election in considerable measure to the left’s deafness.
As De Sanctis concludes:
Rather than taking Gillespie to task over his policy positions or his plans for Virginia, this group engaged in blatant fear-mongering and race-baiting, and in the process it downplayed the serious threat of terrorism and real murder.
This video didn’t “hold a mirror up to the Republican party.” Far from it. In fact, this ad held up a mirror to progressives, who have shown themselves willing to portray their political opponents as cold-blooded murderers merely to win elections.
Here is the video: