Donald Trump Goes Willie Horton on Jeb Bush

<a href=http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/SPWIRE-AP-S-GLF-NJ-United-States-of-America-242-/e0dd0598012449cea2dbd51bde50168e/18/0>Rich Graessle </a>/AP

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Donald Trump’s latest attack on Jeb Bush may strike a familiar chord for those who remember the 1988 presidential race.

On Monday afternoon, Trump released a video on Instagram that assails Bush for a supposedly lenient stance on undocumented immigration. The video cites a 2014 quote from Bush in which he referred to people who illegally cross the border: “Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony; it’s an act of love.” Then the attack ad flashes pictures of three undocumented immigrants, all charged with murder. (Only one of the trio has been convicted.)

The ad is reminiscent of the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad, aired by George H.W. Bush supporters, that accused Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis of being soft on crime by supporting a state program that allowed weekend passes for prisoners. (Horton, who was a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in Massachusetts, raped a woman while out on a furlough.) The ad sparked a controversy, with critics claiming it exploited—or fueled—racist sentiments. 

Here’s the new Trump ad:

 

This is no “act of love” as Jeb Bush said…

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

 

Here’s the Willie Horton spot:

THE TRUTH...

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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