Virginia's Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie told the Daily Caller's Vince Coglianese on Tuesday that his online donations have tripled since the Latino Victory Fund released an ad depicting Gillespie supporters as racists.
The progressive political action committee released an ad on Monday showing a man driving a pick-up truck with a Gillespie campaign sticker, a Tea Party license plate, and a Confederate flag on the back as he chases down a pair of Latino boys, an African-American boy, and a Muslim girl wearing a hijab.
The four children run into an alley and try to climb a fence as the truck is speeding towards them, but the children then wake up, revealing the experience was a nightmare that would exist if Gillespie was elected.
While the ad has since been taken down in the wake of the New York City terrorist attack involving a rental truck, Gillespie said that his online donations have tripled because people are disgusted by the ad.
"Conservatives nationwide can sort of identify with you today, who feel like they are being wrongfully smeared oftentimes by either the media or the Democratic Party. What kind of reaction have you seen to this and include by the way, have you seen a lot of money in the last 24 hours from all of this?" Coglianese asked.
"Yeah, in fact, actually online, our fundraising has tripled from people who are just disgusted by this and feel that they're under attack, which they are. But, again, it's not just my supporters who are under attack here," Gillespie said.
"It's all those good, decent Virginians who may not agree with me, but understand that this is not good for the commonwealth of Virginia and that this kind of political attack and these smear campaigns are not good for the country, and they're not good for the commonwealth," Gillespie added.
Rafi Uddin Ahmed, a civil rights activist and the former president of the Muslim Association of Virginia, called the ad "troublesome" in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The Washington Post editorial board also weighed in on the ad by condemning it and calling it "vile." While they previously endorsed Gillespie's Democratic opponent Ralph Northam, they were critical of Northam and his campaign for not condemning the ad sooner.
"It is sad that it took such a tragedy for the group to realize how out of bounds its ad was. It’s also sad that someone who promises to be a governor for all Virginians didn’t call them out right away," the editorial board wrote.
"Ralph Northam would not have run this ad and believes Virginians deserve civility, not escalation," a campaign spokesman emailed the Post.