AUSTIN, Texas — The Bexar County Democratic Party has launched a controversial Spanish-language ad during the final week before the November 4 elections, calling tea party Republicans “radical terrorists.”
The ad begins showing the American and Mexican flags, with a male narrator saying in Spanish that the flags represent “friendship, liberty, opportunity, and justice,” then showing a Gadsden flag with its famous “Don’t Tread on Me” motto. The Gadsden flag, which the ad calls “muy peligrosa,” or “very dangerous,” was designed in 1775 during the American Revolution and has since been adopted as a symbol by various libertarian and tea party groups. The ad then proceeds to call tea party Republicans “radical terrorists” while showing images of militia members holding guns and wearing camouflage, threatening “our children and families with violence and firearms,” urging viewers to “¡Voto Demócrata!”
The full text of the ad, in English:
“These two flags represent friendship, liberty, opportunity and justice. This flag is very dangerous. It is the flag of the Republicans of the Tea Party. They are radical terrorists who want to take matters into their own hands, affecting our children and families with violence and firearms on the border and in our cities. This Tuesday, November 4th, is the day of the election and it’s the only time we can make our voice count. For our common good, Vote Democrat!”
Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina admitted his organization was responsible for the ad, and claimed credit himself for creating it. Medina went even further in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News, saying, “The tea party is not a political party. They’re a terrorist organization.” The Express-News also reported that the ad was running on Univision, paid for by a $25,000 donation from personal injury attorney Thonas J. Henry.
The Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans were quick to condemn the ad, posting on their Facebook page a video and note:
“So the Democrats want to call Tea Party friends of ours “Radical Terrorists.” Here is our response, which party in Texas has been aiding the cartels? Democrat elected officials are no different than the corrupt mayor in Guerrero, Mexico who collaborated with the cartel to kidnap and murder 43 students. These Democrats conspire and benefit from border insecurity and crime.”
Former State Representative Aaron Peña, who left the Democratic Party several years ago to become a Republican, was appalled by the ad, telling Breitbart Texas that it represented the “race-baiting and fear-mongering that Democrats are doing all over the country,” noting that the Democrats frequently ran ads with more extreme messages in Spanish than in English, as was the case here. “Democrats must think we are really stupid,” said Peña, saying that the ad shows the disrespect that Democrats have for Hispanics. “This is a complete embarrassment to Democrats all across the state, that the modern Democrat party would stoop to the lowest of the low,” he added. “It’s dirty, despicable, and desperate.”
Bexar County Republican Chairman Robert Stovall left a message with Univision’s station management to complain after he saw the ad. “It’s way out of bounds,” Stovall told the Express-News, calling the ad “a full-blown baloney scare tactic.” San Antonio Tea Party President Allan Tharp said it was “disappointing that they would refer to the tea party that way,” and noted that he does not know anyone affiliated with any border militia groups.
Even the Express-News recognized the outlandish message of the ad, with columnist Gilbert Garcia writing that it was “not quite fair to equate civilian militia vigilantes with tea party Republicans,” and that even the militia members did not deserve to be called the same term used for radical Islamic jihadists.You can hate the tea party movement and still recognize the cynicism of a commercial that tells Spanish speakers a vote for a tea party-affiliated Republican is a vote for terroristic violence,” wrote Garcia.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.