How Trump’s controversial anti-immigrant video skirts rules for political ads

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US President Donald Trump faced scathing criticism on Thursday for an advertisement linking Democrats and immigrants to violent crime, with some fellow Republicans blasting it as "sickening" and the most racially divisive political ad in three decades.

Many recalled the infamous "Willie Horton" campaign ad from the 1988 presidential election between George H.W. Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis.

"Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!" reads the text featured on the 53-second video. The ad, which was financed by supporters of Bush's campaign focused on Horton, a convicted murderer, who was released on a weekend furlough program (which had been supported by Dukakis) and committed assault and rape while he was out.

"They're dead. I don't regret that", the sneering Bracamontes says in the courtroom as "Democrats let him stay" flashes on the screen.

In a first reaction, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the ad was a sign of desperation and suggested that Trump was losing the argument over health care that is at the center of the Democratic campaign.

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The survey was taken almost a week after former President Barack Obama took credit for the economic gains made during Trump's time in office. Conservative commentator Scott Jennings also admitted to Cuomo that he wasn't surprised by the depravity of the ad, stating, "I don't see anything in this video that I haven't heard from the President consistently for the past couple of years". Retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake called it "sickening". Reporter for the Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra tweeted that Democrats would "look like fools" if they appeared to be defending criminals like Bracamontes by attacking Trump over the ad.

The video tweeted by Mr Trump did not immediately appear to be running on television - it has a runtime longer than most TV ads - although it received extensive coverage on cable news networks.

Bush also was commander in chief when Bracamontes slipped back into the United States a short time later and when he got married on February 28, 2002, the paper reported.

"The Willie Horton ad gave George Herbert Walker Bush his one big black eye in history", said Brinkley.

Then a segment from Fox News shows a correspondent interviewing a man identified only as "deported immigrant in caravan", who through a translator, requests to be pardoned for attempted murder.

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