ARCOLA, Va. — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio hit the path for Virginia Republican Ed Gillespie on Monday night time, defending him from Democratic criticism that he’s operating a racially tinged marketing campaign every week earlier than Virginia elects its subsequent governor.
Rubio’s speech at a Loudoun County plumbing firm was largely a paean to former President Ronald Reagan and America’s founding ideas, however he additionally endorsed Gillespie’s adverts arguing that Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s badist for sanctuary cities would badist the expansion of MS-13, an El Salvadoran gang.
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Rubio stated mentioning MS-13 would “be like speaking about organized crime however refusing to speak concerning the mafia.”
Democrats have criticized Gillespie’s adverts, which have typically featured images of Hispanic gang members with face tattoos who’re truly imprisoned in El Salvador. They’ve additionally famous there are not any sanctuary cities within the state of Virginia — and one exterior group has began operating extra aggressive adverts connecting Gillespie to white nationalists.
A 60-second advert launched earlier Monday by Latino Victory Fund exhibits a truck chasing Latino and Muslim youngsters via a neighborhood and finally trapping them in an alley earlier than one of many youngsters wakes up from the nightmare. “Is that this what Ed Gillespie and Donald Trump imply by the American dream?” a feminine narrator asks over a picture of two mother and father watching protection of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., this summer season.
Republicans have sharply criticized the spot.
“The Northam marketing campaign and its allies have launched a determined smear marketing campaign in opposition to Ed within the closing days of this election,” Gillespie marketing campaign supervisor Chris Leavitt stated. “His allies have reached a brand new low with a disgusting, vile tv advert in search of to instill concern in our kids with that very same imagery. This isn’t an badault on Ed Gillespie anymore. That is an all out badault on the folks of Virginia.”
Earlier than the occasion, protesters from CASA in Motion, Indivisible and different liberal teams marched exterior the warehouse, chanting anti-Gillespie slogans and carrying a big banner demanding Gillespie “return to Ok Avenue” and different indicators labeling the GOP “the celebration of racism.” A protester additionally interrupted the occasion as Rubio started talking, demanding a direct finish to deportations.
Whereas Gillespie’s preliminary spherical of promoting centered closely on his plans for an across-the-board earnings tax lower, his more moderen tv spots have centered closely on tradition battle points, together with his opposition to the elimination of Accomplice statutes and crime.
“Impartial teams are denouncing Ed Gillespie as a result of he has run essentially the most divisive, concern mongering marketing campaign in fashionable historical past,” Northam spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel stated. “It’s not stunning that communities of shade are frightened of what his Trump-like coverage positions imply for them.”