U.S. President Donald Trump released on Wednesday night a campaign ad that conflated news footage of an unrepentant cop-killer with that of a migrant caravan that’s currently heading toward the American border.
It was immediately derided as racist by analysts who compared it to the much-criticized Willie Horton ad that emerged during George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1988.
The ad begins with footage of Luis Bracamontes, who earlier this year received the death penalty after having shot two police officers dead and wounded another in Northern California in 2014.
The Los Angeles Times reported that year that Bracamontes, who was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, had been deported from the U.S. twice.
In the ad, he can be seen shouting expletives in a courtroom — The Sacramento Bee reported that he also made racial remarks during his sentencing hearing.
“I wish I killed more of those ” he can be heard saying on the video.
The ad then spliced in footage of a migrant caravan forcing its way through the Mexican border.
It also included a Fox News report that suggested a member of the caravan committed attempted murder, and wanted to apply for a pardon.
“Who else would Democrats let in?” the ad asked.
WATCH: Second migrant caravan smashes through Mexico border as clashes erupt
CNN analyst Stephen Collinson blasted the bit, calling it the “most racially charged national political ad in 30 years.”
He compared it to the Horton ad, which talked about a man who had committed rape while he was furloughed under a Massachusetts program while Bush’s opponent, Democrat Michael Dukakis, was serving as governor.
Ex-U.S. labour secretary Robert Reich also compared it to the Horton ad.
The migrant caravan has become a prime focus for Trump as the midterm elections approach, in which the Democrats look likely to take a majority in the House of Representatives, but the Republicans look like they could hold on to theirs in the Senate.
For Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez, the ad smacked of desperation, arguing that the ad emerged as the president wanted to shift the focus of the midterm campaign from health care to immigration.
“This is fear mongering,” Perez told CNN.
“They have to fear monger and his dog whistle of all dog whistles is immigration. This has been Donald Trump’s playbook for so long.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.