Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg has launched a series of new television ads pushing for Congress to pass amnesty now, Politico reports.
The new ad quotes President Barack Obama, House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Speaker John Boehner and strikes, as Politico’s Maggie Haberman wrote, a new “tone” for Zuckerberg.
“The ads, obtained by Politico, mark a shift in course for the group,” Haberman wrote. “Its earlier ads — aired through FWD.us and its partisan-leaning affiliates — sought to persuade with a gentler tone, or by offering cover to Senate Republicans who’ve supported immigration reform by highlighting conservative messaging points. The ads also provided reinforcement to Senate Democrats and House Republicans such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).”
The new advertisement is called “Why We Wait,” Haberman reported, adding that this ad is “part of a clear shift in strategy by the Facebook founder’s group to apply pressure on the House GOP, especially with the government shutdown over and the legislative calendar fairly open.”
Haberman reported that there are two different spots, one in English and one in Spanish. They will, she wrote, be part of a weeklong six-figure national cable ad buy and part of a longer online web ad buy.
“On the need to fix our broken immigration system, there are signs both political parties in Washington get it,” the narrator of the English version of the ad says in a voiceover.
The ad then cuts to Obama to quote him saying: “Washington’s lagging behind the country on this.” From there, it cuts to Boehner saying: “This issue has been around far too long.”
The narrator jumps back in to say: “And yet, we wait.”
“Reforming our immigration system would dramatically reduce our nation’s debt, grow our economy by 5.4 percent and take bold steps to secure our borders,” the narrator claims. “On this, both parties say they agree.”
It then quotes Hoyer as saying: “We are very on this side of the aisle very very strongly in favor of moving immigration reform.”
It then cuts to Cantor to quote him: “We do want to make some progress in reforming our broken immigration system.”
“And yet, we wait,” the narrator cuts back in. “Americans are tired of empty rhetoric. It’s time for every leader to come through on their promise and fix our broken immigration system. Tell Congress the time is now. Fix America’s broken immigration system.”
Haberman notes too that House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is featured instead of Cantor in the Spanish-language version of the ads and in a “California-centric” version of the English-language ads.
The ads come on the heels of Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and scores of other Republicans and conservatives publicly pledging there will never be any conference committee negotiations between any House immigration bills and the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. The only member of House GOP leadership, and the only Republican save for a few outlier examples on the fringe of the party, who has not publicly ruled out conference with the Senate bill is House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a lawmaker for whom Zuckerberg has run ads before.
McCarthy has similarly promised there will be no votes on anything immigration-related before the end of the year, meaning that if anything were to pass, it would need to happen in 2014.