Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie (R.) on Tuesday slammed an ad from the progressive Latino Victory Fund depicting his supporters as racists who terrorize minority children, calling it a "sad day for Virginia" and suggesting it revealed desperation in his opponent.
The Latino Victory Fund's ad shows a man with a Confederate flag and a Gillespie bumper sticker on his truck chasing down frightened black, Hispanic and Muslim children.
On "Fox and Friends," Gillespie told host Steve Doocy that the ad a "new low."
"I thought it was a sad day for Virginia, and this attack is not just an attack on my supporters, who are good, decent, hardworking Virginians who love their neighbors," he said. "It's an attack on all Virginians, Steve, and the fact is whether your disagree with people or not, in Virginia, we respect civil discourse, and this is a new low in politics here."
Gillespie said his opponent Ralph Northam had "embraced" the ad and it revealed a "disdain" for Virginians who want to have a discussion about politics.
"All they want to do is smear people," he said.
Northam, the current lieutenant governor of Virginia, has generally led Gillespie in the polls, although the race has appeared to tighten in the days leading up to the Nov. 7 election.
Doocy asked Gillespie what it suggested about the opposition that it would "drop that ad a week before the election."
"One, it's clear they understand this race is slipping away from them and they're losing it because they don't have any policies, and I've been putting forward policies for months now, 20 specific, detailed policy proposals to get Virginia growing again," he said.
Gillespie said Democrats didn't want to debate issues but rather wanted to "demonize" their opponents.
"He disdains us, and he disdains people who want to have a civil debate about the policies," Gillespie said.
Gillespie won an endorsement from the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week for running a policy-oriented campaign and representing "the pragmatic, open-minded Republican Party that for so long served Virginia well by emphasizing effective government that focuses on core responsibilities while limiting regulation and keeping taxes as low as possible."
Gillespie is facing an uphill battle if history is any indication, however. Virginia was the only southern state that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 election, and Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warren are all Democrats as well.