According to the Washington Post, the Latino Victory Fund allegedly created their controversial ad to spur minority support for Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam due to private polling that reveals low support for the Virginia gubernatorial candidate. Northam has yet to publicly comment on the Latino Victory Fund ad.
The Latino Victory Fund pulled their “sickening” ad that featured an Ed Gillespie supporter attempting to run down minority children. The Ed Gillespie campaign decried this ad as “disgusting” and an “attack on the people of Virginia.”
The Latino Victory Fund’s decision comes amidst a terrorist attack in New York City that featured a man running several people over with a truck and reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
The Washington Post editorial board slammed the Latino Victory Fund’s “vile” and “despicable” ad and chided the Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam for calling out that ad.
According to a report from the Washington Post, public polling had Northam easily beating Gillespie among black and Latino voters, however, a private poll shared among minority advocacy groups sparked worries about Northam’s appeal to minority voters. Northam’s campaign urged the groups not to release the poll’s findings.
Since that poll revealed Northam’s weak support among minorities, progressive groups sprung to action to tie Gillespie to President Donald Trump. Democrats and progressives worry that if Gillespie wins, his rhetoric opposing illegal immigration, banning sanctuary cities, and support for Confederate monuments could be used in the 2018 midterm elections to turn out Trump’s nationalist-populist and conservative base.
Latino Victory Fund President Cristobal Alex said, “If we can respond in a very hard way right now, that causes our people to turn out in force and stomp out that fire. Hopefully we will do that.”
Alex said in a statement to Breitbart News after the Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad, “We knew our ad would ruffle feathers. We held a mirror up to the Republican Party and they don’t like what they see. We have decided to pull our ad at this time. Given recent events, we will be placing other powerful ads into rotation that highlight the reasons we need to elect progressive leaders in Virginia.”
The Virginia Democrat gubernatorial Ralph Northam campaign did not disavow the Latino Victory Fund’s attack ad on Gillespie and Trump supporters. In fact, the Northam campaign doubled down on the ad’s divisive rhetoric.
Northam spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel said, “Independent groups are denouncing Ed Gillespie because he has run the most divisive, fear-mongering campaign in modern history. It is not shocking that communities of color are scared of what his Trump-like policy positions mean for them.”
After the Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad, Yheskel said in a statement to Breitbart News, “Latino Victory Fund has taken the ad down and we believe it’s appropriate and the right thing to do.”
Breitbart News reached out for comment to the Northam campaign whether Northam will comment on the Latino Victory Fund’s ad. Breitbart News has not heard from the Northam campaign whether the gubernatorial candidate will comment on the Latino Victory Fund’s controversial ad.
The private poll shared among progressive suggests that Northam lags behind Hillary Clinton’s support among Virginia Latinos, a troubling figure for Virginia Democrats considering that Hillary won Virginia in the presidential election by only five points.
On the campaign trail, Northam’s outreach to Latino voters appeared to fall short. At a get-out-the-vote campaign event at George Mason University with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Masto told a group of Latino students that they need Northam to be governor to have Virginia issue driver’s licenses and offer discounted tuition to undocumented immigrants. Only eight students attended the event.
One progressive activist admitted that years of polling suggested that dramatic messages work effectively to drive out minority voters.
The advocate told the Washington Post, “All of us in the political class are talking about the Gillespie MS-13 ads. It turns out that a lot of people weren’t aware it’s on TV — he isn’t running it on Telemundo. We know from previous efforts that when people feel that threat and feel attacked, they respond.”
Colin Rogero, who directed and produced the ad for the Latino Victory Fund, said, “We needed to push back as forcefully as we have been pushed. Let’s show people who may not be experiencing this what people feel like and the real kind of palpable fear that exists right now.”
The liberal People for the American Way will air a Spanish campaign ad that seeks to galvanize Latino support across the Virginia Commonwealth by demonizing Trump and Gillespie.
In the ad, the announcer declares, “Ed Gillespie talks about us, he demonizes us with divisive and racist language, calling us criminals. Let’s not allow Trump’s policies in Virginia.”
Ed Gillespie campaign manager Chris Leavitt slammed the Latino Victory Fund’s ad.
“This is not an attack on Ed Gillespie anymore,” said Chris Leavitt. “This is an all-out attack on the people of Virginia. This latest ad gives a clear indication of just what Ralph Northam and his national Democratic allies think of all of us, and it’s sickening.”
Breitbart News reported that the race between Gillespie and Northam remains tight. The election is on Tuesday, November 7.