Tancredo ad stokes terror fears, blames border
WASHINGTON ” A man in a hooded sweat shirt, a backpack, a crowded mall. The television screen goes dark at the sound of an explosion.
Tom Tancredo, the Republican presidential candidate running on an anti-immigration message, is airing this scene in a television ad in Iowa that casts border security as a defense against terrorism. The ad displays clips of the aftermath of terrorist acts in Europe, including a picture of a bloodied child.
“There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs,” a narrator says. “Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil, jihadists who froth with hate, here to do as they have in London, Spain, Russia. The price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill.”
Tancredo, a Colorado congressman who has long advocated tight limits on immigration, barely registers in public opinion polls. But the immigration issue does resonate. Sen. John McCain, who helped lead an effort to overhaul immigration laws and provide a path to citizenship for some immigrants, lost momentum last spring as the debate over the legislation played out in Congress.
The powerful image of a hooded terrorist plays to viewers’ post-9/11 fears. It is reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad in 1964 against Barry Goldwater, which suggested a Goldwater presidency could result in nuclear war.
“I approve this message because someone needs to say it,” Tancredo says at the beginning of the ad.
His Web site opens to the ad with a direct appeal for contributions: “Please help us keep this important statement on the air: Donate now”.
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