The progressive Latino Victory Fund on Monday released a new ad that depicts supporters of Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie as racists who attack minority children.
The ad shows a man driving a large pick-up truck with a Gillespie campaign sticker, a Tea Party front 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 children run into an alley and attempt to climb a fence as the truck charges them, but they wake up and reveal the ordeal to be a nightmare before the vehicle hits them.
The end of the ad shows footage of white supremacists marching with tiki torches in Charlottesville, Va., as a voiceover narrates.
"Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by ‘the American dream?'" the voiceover says, before it identifies the Latino Victory Fund as being behind the ad.
Latino Victory Fund president Cristóbal J. Alex said the ad, which will also air in Spanish, was created to show how Gillespie has "eagerly embraced racism and xenophobia."
"In a desperate attempt to become Virginia's next governor, Ed Gillespie has eagerly embraced racism and xenophobia. We refuse to stand by as bullies like Gillespie slander our families, call us ‘thugs' and ‘criminals,' and portray hard-working immigrants as a national security threat," Alex said, according to BlueVirginia. "Ed Gillespie has made it abundantly clear what he thinks of Latinos and immigrants, so on Election Day, our community will make it clear how we feel about him."
This is not the first time Virginia Democrats have suggested Gillespie and President Donald Trump are tied to white supremacists. Virginia Democrats and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam have attempted to make such a connection in prior ads.
In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, Gillespie campaign manager Chris Leavitt ripped the ad as "disgusting" and an "attack on the people of Virginia."
"Ed Gillespie has focused his campaign on the many policy differences between Ralph Northam and him, but sadly the Northam campaign and its allies have launched a desperate smear campaign against Ed in the closing days of this election," Leavitt said. "The Lieutenant Governor was roundly rebuked for exploiting imagery from the tragedy of Charlottesville for political points. Now his allies have reached a new low with a disgusting, vile television ad seeking to instill fear in our children with that same imagery."
"This is not an attack on Ed Gillespie anymore," he said. "This is an all out attack on the people of Virginia. This latest ad gives a clear indication of just what Ralph Northam and his national Democratic allies think of all of us, and it's sickening."
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Latino Victory Fund has received funds from Priorities USA Action, the Service Employees International Union, and billionaire Tom Steyer, who is funding advertisements calling for Trump's impeachment. One of the Latino Victory Fund's founders is actress Eva Longoria.
UPDATE: Monday, 11:49 A.M.: This article was updated with a statement from Leavitt.
UPDATE: Thursday, 9:03 A.M.: The Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad following the New York City terror attack on Tuesday. For more information, see here.