Exterior a rally for Ed Gillespie with Sen. Marco Rubio Tuesday evening in Loudoun County, immigrant rights activists labeled the Republican candidate for governor racist for a marketing campaign that they are saying scapegoats immigrants.
Inside, surrounded by supporters, Gillespie talked about how a lot he has in widespread with Rubio (R-Fla.), a 2016 candidate for president common within the northern Virginia suburbs, and fellow baby of immigrants.
The dueling messages got here the identical day the Latino Victory Fund launched an advert that includes a pick-up truck flying a Accomplice flag and sporting a bumper sticker for Republican Ed Gillespie chasing a gaggle of minority kids.
The advert is a response to commercials from Gillespie tying his Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam, to MS-13 gang violence and others vowing to guard the state’s Accomplice monuments.
In a plumbing gear warehouse in Sterling, Gillespie emphasised biographical particulars he has in widespread with Rubio, who typically talked of his Cuban American heritage on the 2016 marketing campaign path. Gillespie’s Irish grandfather got here to America as a result of he discovered work as a janitor, he stated.
“My mother and father labored on their ft all day lengthy within the grocery retailer,” Gillespie stated. “[Rubio’s] mother and father labored on their ft all day lengthy. His mom was a lodge maid. His father was a bartender. He too is the son of immigrants.”
“We admire and perceive the significance of the American dream as a result of our mother and father have seen it right here first hand,” he stated.
Then he launched Rubio, however simply earlier than the senator took the stage, an activist jumped up on stage holding an indication protesting deportations. Sheriffs deputies rapidly hustled her out the constructing because the viewers clapped.
Inside minutes, Rubio alluded to the immigration controversy, telling the group Gillespie would work for them “regardless of the place your loved ones got here from or how your final title is pronounced.”
Rubio stated he, too, comes from a group impacted by gang violence and stated it might make no sense to disregard MS-13 in a state impacted by the gang.
“That will be like speaking about organized crime, however refusing to speak in regards to the Mafia,” he stated to chuckles from supporters.
Later he joked about his widespread Irish heritage with Gillespie, which is why they name him Marc O’Rubio.
“In our veins runs the blood of people who find themselves go-getters of somebody from someplace who refused to just accept the restrictions positioned upon them,” he stated.
Rubio, who 40 % of the vote to President Trump’s 28 % in Loudoun County through the presidential major, smiled when a couple of individuals shouted “Rubio 2020!”
Amongst his supporters was two-term Rep. Barbara Comstock (R), who spoke on behalf of Gillespie firstly of the hour-long rally.
Final month the Home handed a invoice launched by Comstock in response to MS-13 violence that may develop the federal authorities’s powers to deport or detain non-citizen immigrants who’re gang members or suspected of gang exercise.
The invoice drew the ire of immigrant rights teams, together with those that protested the Gillespie rally.
Earlier than the rally, activists from left-leaning organizations CASA in Motion, Individuals for the American Means and Indivisible teams, chanted “Again up, again up. We wish freedom, freedom. All these racist politicians we don’t want em, want em.”
A lot of them held indicators that stated, “Gillespie Racist” beneath a black and white photograph of Gillespie with a crimson line via it.
Luis Aguilar, a group organizer with CASA in Motion who lives in Alexandria, stated Gillespie can not align himself with Rubio or New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who stumped for him final week, and profess to know the immigrant expertise.
These politicians “completely don’t exemplify the common Latino, the common immigrant,” he stated. “Who’re they? The elite. He’s exhibiting us that he’s an institution Republican looking for to be Trump Jr. as nicely.”
Lizet Ocampo, political director for Individuals for the American Means who relies in D.C., stated Gillespie is attempting to win the election primarily based on racism and concern.
“He’s utilizing racist imagery and language to ship his message,” she stated. “When he exhibits photos of Latino-looking individuals and says “Worry them,” this is identical factor Trump did when he went down the escalator and stated Mexicans are drug sellers and rapists and criminals. Precisely the identical marketing campaign technique.”
As protesters chanted “sure we will,” Rick Canton of Sterling yelled again “Detain,” “No, you possibly can’t” and “Not an opportunity.”
Canton, a primary technology Cuban-American who was among the many native GOP activists who endorsed Rubio through the major, later stated he believed the protesters stoked division in politics.
“This isn’t us,” he stated. “This isn’t America in any respect. This isn’t Virginia in any respect. These are a bunch of liars corrupting what we try to do right here.”
Whereas he spoke, a person close to him watched the protesters and stated, “And that girl’s carrying an American flag, that basically makes me sick.”
The election is Nov. 7.