Virginia GOP Chairman Jack Wilson slammed former Vice President Joe Biden for hiring Cristobal Alex, the creator of the “despicable” 2017 Latino Victory Fund ad, in an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Sunday.
Joe Biden’s team announced this week that they hired the former head of the Latino Victory Fund (LVF), which ran a controversial ad during the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial election portraying a white Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie supporter attempting to run down minority children. Gillespie’s campaign decried the ad at the time as “disgusting” and an “attack on the people of Virginia,” prompting the group to pull it — but without an apology.
Wilson told Breitbart News in a statement on Sunday that Biden’s hiring of Cristobal shows that the former vice president remains out of touch with the American people.
“There is no question that the LVF fund ad was despicable, and given current events, it was obviously targeted at the wrong candidate for governor. We’re not surprised that someone like Joe Biden would hire such a divisive figure,” Wilson said. “Biden is too out of touch with the American people to even win the circus that is the Democrat 2020 primary.”
Here is the controversial LVF ad Alex ran during the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial primary:
Biden’s potential announcement as a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate serves as a contrast to many younger, female, and more diverse Democrat primary candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), which may harm his chances for gaining the nomination against a rising field of new, more diverse, Democrats. Further, Biden’s more moderate political views may dissuade Democrat voters who have increasingly adopted more progressive views and championed proposals such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
“I think we need a bold, strong leadership, and you’ll find that in the progressives,” one potential Democrat voter, Carol Evans, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this week.
The Biden team’s hiring of Alex might serve as an attempt to spur minority support for the former vice president as the former LVF leader did for then-Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam.
The Washington Post reported during the 2017 campaign that 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 minority groups to not release the poll’s findings.
The Post suggested that the LVF allegedly created their ad to increase minority support for Northam by stoking animosity towards Donald Trump and Gillespie supporters by pinning the Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 to Gillespie and Trump supporters.
Since then, Northam admitted to wearing blackface in the 1980s; Northam once decried then-gubernatorial Ed Gillespie’s “racist rhetoric and fearmongering” in October 2017.
Alex said that his ad would help spur minority support for Northam.
“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 explained in November 2017.
Alex said in a statement to Breitbart News after the Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad in November 2017, “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.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.