Walker spoke with Robles campaign manager Robert Davis, who cited Robles’s job as a state parole agent and seemingly dismissed any violent overtones of the machine gun message:
Mr. Robles is in law enforcement, if you’re not aware of that, so I think it’s his way of just kind of sending our message. We’re going after Linda Sanchez, not in the way that portrays it to be if you’re thinking like that. We’re very strongly against her policies, and her programs and people really need to understand what she’s about.
Robles states repeatedly in the video that Sanchez’s “record speaks for itself” (without discussing said record), and the Robles campaign superimposes the words “HOT MESS!!” on an appearance by Sanchez on MSNBC.
Robles is running against Sanchez in a new open primary system in California, where all candidates run and the top two vote-getters end up on the ballot in November.
As the Observer points out, violent imagery, particularly that involving guns, came to the fore last year with the shooting of Rep. Gabriella Giffords (D-AZ), who was targeted by gun sights on an electoral map put out by Sarah Palin’s political organization. The crosshairs on the political map drew widespread criticism, though that didn’t stop some politicians like Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) from making light of gun violence in a political context.