Trump Takes Aim at Illegal Immigration as New Attack Ads Arrive
Policy + Politics

Trump Takes Aim at Illegal Immigration as New Attack Ads Arrive

© Rebecca Cook / Reuters

With the race for the White House entering a new phase after the holidays, presidential hopefuls from both parties are releasing television ads for early voters.

Anticipation was highest for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who took his pitch of “Make American Great Again” to the airwaves for the first time this week.

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Trump’s ad, which recaps his campaign’s greatest hits on immigration and foreign policy, is part of a plan by the billionaire to spend around $2 million a week on advertising before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 and New Hampshire’s primary on Feb. 9.

Besides repeating his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., the ad shows dozens of people swarming over a fence as the narrator refers ominously to the “southern border.” However, Politifact reports that the footage is actually from Morocco.

Asked about the apparent mistake, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told NBC News: "No sh-- it's not the Mexican border but that's what our country is going to look like. This was 1,000 percent on purpose."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, desperate for any kind of traction in the polls, is out with an ad about how he would destroy ISIS.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who kicked off a 6-day bus tour of the Hawkeye State on Monday and is leading Trump in recent polls there, released an ad saying he would stand by the country’s first principles. 

Not to be outdone, a Cruz-allied super PAC called Keep the Promise unveiled a 30-second television spot that suggests Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) isn’t ready to be commander-in-chief of the military.

"What would Marco Rubio's leadership look like?" the piece asks, before cutting to video of Rubio talking on the phone while looking at a laptop.

"Yeah, I know I have a debate, but I got to get this fantasy football thing right," Rubio says in the clip. The spot was originally released by Rubio’s campaign in October ahead of a GOP debate.

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Taken together, the videos from Trump, Bush, Cruz and the Cruz ally show that GOP camps believe that national security will be the defining issue when voters start casting their ballots next month.

In addition to the ads, Rubio along with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave major addresses on the issue in New Hampshire on Monday.

Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich is going on the airwaves in New Hampshire on Tuesday with a video that tells the story of his “hardscrabble life in a rusty steel town” and how determination can turn the country around.

“America. Never. Give. Up.” the spot concludes.

Not to be left out, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is out with a clip targeting Granite State voters by showcasing her husband, former President Bill Clinton. (The clip is available on Facebook.)