Home Tim Kaine Which Ad Is More Disgusting, Dishonest, etc.: Ed Gillespie’s “Sanctuary Cities” or...

Which Ad Is More Disgusting, Dishonest, etc.: Ed Gillespie’s “Sanctuary Cities” or Jerry Kilgore’s “Hitler Ads?”


The following ads, both by Republican candidates for governor of Virginia (Jerry Kilgore in 2005; Ed Gillespie in 2017) share a number characteristics: 1) dishonest (Tim Kaine actually said that his personal religious views were anti-death penalty, but that as governor, he would carry out the laws of Virginia, including the death penalty; the charge against Ralph Northam about “sanctuary cities” is extremely shaky/tenuous, at best); 2) disgusting/vicious in various ways (the Gillespie ad plays upon fears and prejudices by the GOP “base” of “dangerous illegal immigrants” – translation, Latinos, people of color more broadly; the “loathsome” “Hitler ads” employed demagoguery about crime and the death penalty – a classic Lee Atwater/Karl Rove move, and also used “Mr. Kaine’s courtroom work as an appointee of the state Supreme Court” to smear him); 3) signs of a candidate who fears he’s going to lose (after leading Tim Kaine for weeks, the race was basically a dead heat by mid-October, when Kilgore released the “Hitler ads”; Ed Gillespie hasn’t led in a poll since June 6-8). I’d also note that, following the debut of the “Hitler ads” in 2005, despite many supposed experts claiming Kaine was doooooomed, instead the ads appeared to backfire, with Kaine pulling ahead and proceeding to defeat Kilgore by 5.7 points on election day. Let’s hope the same thing happens this year, in response to Gillespie going to the gutter with his disgusting, race-baiting new ad.


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