Video of cop killer becomes Trump campaign push

Hugh Fox
November 2, 2018

His snarling, expletive-filled rant about killing police officers appeared in a little-noticed January 2018 Trump campaign ad.

The new video blames Democrats for letting Bracamontes into the US and allowing the undocumented immigrant to stay in the country.

"Who else would Democrats let in?" is superimposed over images of Bracamontes, who is now on death row at San Quentin for the 2014 slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr. The Trump campaign did not respond to ABC News' request for comment on the video.

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Then, the ad cuts to a video of a large group of people holding Honduran flags marching through streets, then the unknown people trying to break down a fence, and finally, a Fox News interview with a man that's part of the migrant caravan headed toward the United States.

Not surprisingly, the backlash was swift and focused, with the general consensus being that president Trump had ripped a page out of George H.W. Bush's book by channeling the infamous Willie Horton ad; a video that's always haunted Bush a moral low point in his political career.

The man in the video, Luis Bracamontes, is an immigrant in the country illegally who was convicted this year of murdering two law enforcement officials.

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Trump shared this frightening visual aid with his 55.5 million Twitter followers, along with the caption "Vote Republican now!" and in under 24 hours it had already been viewed nearly two million times. Horton, who was black, raped a woman while out of prison on a weekend furlough.

Republican Carlos Curbelo, seeking re-election in a Democratic-leaning South Florida district, said he had not seen the video but criticised Mr Trump's use of it. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent Trump critic. Reporter for the Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra tweeted that Democrats would "look like fools" if they appeared to be defending criminals like Bracamontes by attacking Trump over the ad. CBS News is not posting the video here because of the language used.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez characterised the ad as "distracting, divisive Donald at his worst". It stood in stark contrast to an ad circulated by the Trump campaign earlier in the week that highlighted rosy economic numbers and depicted gauzy scenes of American suburban life.

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