Last week, I reported that Sharron Angle’s (R) own spokesperson slammed the Nevada senatorial candidate’s vicious immigration ad which fallaciously portrayed opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) as being the “best friend an illegal alien ever had.” The racial overtones of the ad were so offensive that chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus and Angle spokesperson, Tibi Ellis, stated “I condemned this type of propaganda, no matter who is running them, where they blame Mexicans as the only problem and where they attack them as the only source of illegal immigration.”
Ellis may have an even bigger problem with Angle’s latest racially-tinged ad which goes after Reid and his support of undocumented students. The ad includes the offensive footage of menacing men with flashlights walking along a fence that was featured in her first ad. However, it also adds new images of scowling Latino men as the narrator proclaims, “and now Harry Reid is fighting for a program that would give preferred college tuition rates to none other than illegal aliens.” The image is juxtaposed against a photo of white college graduates in their graduation robes. At the end, the narrator asks, “What does Harry Reid have against you?”
The ad appears to be vaguely referencing the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which Reid attached to the defense reauthorization bill last month as an amendment. The DREAM Act wouldn’t give undocumented students special tuition rates, but it would eliminate a federal provision that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition without regard to immigration status. Angle’s ad doesn’t mention that it would also allow certain undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age to eventually obtain legal permanent status by enlisting in the military or attending a university. A June 2010 national poll of 1,008 adults revealed that 70 percent of voters support the DREAM Act, across party lines.
Reid’s campaign released a fact check and a statement on the ad saying, “despicably, Angle’s new ad ramps up her use of incendiary imagery to appeal to Nevadans’ worst fears, while using the exact same thoroughly-debunked lies from her first two ads – lies that independent analysts and fact-checkers have called out as false.”
Angle isn’t the only Republican candidate to employ offensive images that reinforce negative anti-Latino stereotypes. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) used the same exact photo in one of his own attack ads:
Meanwhile, the DREAMers, as they call themselves, look a lot more like the innocent graduates in Angle’s ad than the intimidating “illegal aliens”:
As I pointed out last week, Angle is simultaneously airing offensive ads while reportedly “courting endorsements from Hispanic leaders and has plans to air Spanish-language ads.”