The Latino Victory Fund has announced plans to double down on their offensive advertising strategy following Ralph Northam’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race.
Following the victory of Democrat Ralph Northam over Republican Ed Gillespie, the Latino Victory Fund has defended their offensive and divisive political advertisement which featured a pickup truck with a confederate flag and Ed Gillespie bumper sticker chasing down young minority children. The advertisement can be seen below,
The ad drew criticism from many, including the Washington Post, who branded the advertisement “vile” and “despicable,” calling out Northam for his failure to immediately condemn the ad. The paper added, “ It behooves Mr. Northam, while he is offering criticism, to make clear that even though the anti-Gillespie spot was not a product of his campaign, his campaign wants no part of it.”
A spokesperson for Northam did, however, clarify that the candidate “would not have run this ad and believes Virginians deserve civility, not escalation.”
However, Cristóbal J. Alex, the President of the Latino Victory Fund, has defended the advertisement and announced the group’s plans to double down on similar tactics in the future, reports BuzzFeed News:
Our ad was an honest reflection of the fears facing communities of color in Virginia and across the country. It was designed to raise Latino voters’ awareness of Gillespie’s bigoted campaign tactics, and it accomplished that goal,” Alex told BuzzFeed. “Faced with vicious, racist attacks, we usually turn the other cheek or point our finger at the bully. This time we threw a jab to the throat and we will continue raising our voices wherever and whenever racism rears its head.
Sources close to the Latino Victory Fund reportedly told BuzzFeed News that they believe the outrage in the media over the advertisement was solely an attempt to distract from the indictment of Paul Manafort, which took place around the time that the LVF released their ad. Sources also said that the advertisement came together after it was discovered that Northam’s Latino and black support was falling.
The group reportedly planned to test the advertisement on Univision and Telemundo for $30,000 before making a six-figure ad purchase with larger distribution, but these plans were scrapped following the ad going viral on social media, racking up over one million views in the first day of its release. Criticism of the group and the advertisement was almost immediate – phones were reportedly ringing off the hook, according to one source.
“The left is not as tight as they are at quickly mobilizing and coming to each other’s mutual aid, we’re going to work on that,” said a source close to the LVF. The group reportedly believe that their advertisement is an accurate depiction of how minority groups in America feel under the Trump administration but agreed to take the ad down following the terrorist attack in New York City, in which eight people were killed when hit by a truck.
A source close to the Latino Victory Fund said that the aim of the advertisement was to hold a mirror up to the GOP and force them to “contend with the full spectrum of what they embrace when they take Trumpian tacts to win elections,” writes BuzzFeed News. “Gillespie was running ads on monuments in Charlottesville where white supremacists rallied, don’t tell me that’s not a dog whistle,” the source told BuzzFeed News.