Trump sparks outrage with ‘racist’ immigration ad ahead of midterm elections

Rep. Beto O'Rourke the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas has raised $31 million from small donors

President Trump is stepping up his message on immigration before the midterms in a big way with a tweeted video about an undocumented immigrant who killed two law enforcement officers in 2014.

But this latest ad, which Trump first promoted late Wednesday afternoon, has been called out by some on the right as racist - and has even drawn comparisons to George H.W. Bush's infamous "Willie Horton" ads targeting Democrat Michael Dukakis in 1988.

"President Trump's blatantly racist ad - showing an illegal immigrant boasting about killing police officers - is a fitting final pitch for a party and a campaign that are now almost entirely focused on whipping up xenophobia".

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin scalded GOP leaders for standing by while President Donald Trump ramps up anti-immigrant hysteria and racism, before calling out the Fox News network for acting as his megaphone. "Who else would the Democrats allow in?" the ad asks, before promising that Trump and the Republicans are "making America safe again".

President Trump is leading an 11th-hour Republican charge in Florida amid a surge of interest from young voters that could secure the pivotal state for the Democrats on Tuesday.

The White House and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comments as to who made or paid for the video or if any tax dollars were used to run it from the President's account.

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Bracamontes was in the country illegally at the time of the shooting.

"I can tell you that it's definitely part of a divide-and-conquer strategy that a lot of politicians, including the president, have used successfully in the past", Curbelo said Thursday on CNN.

"This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst", said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, while appearing on Cuomo Prime Time. His snarling, expletive-filled rant about killing police officers appeared in a little-noticed January 2018 Trump campaign ad.

The Bracamontes video is one of at least two fear-based ad campaigns Trump has promoted on Twitter in recent days. The man also featured in a January video tied to the anniversary of Trump's January 20, 2017 inauguration.

Bracamontes, who had previously been deported twice, was sentenced to death for the murders earlier this year.

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