The latest campaign ad from Rand Paul attempts to turn Syrian refugees into modern-day Willie Hortons, scaring possible voters about the Kentucky senator’s GOP rivals being soft on immigration. After showing footage of two Iraqis arrested in Kentucky for supporting al Qaeda, the Paul campaign played clips of Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio speaking favorably of welcoming refugees into the United States. “Some refused to learn from mistakes,” the narration says. “Rand Paul is leading the fight to stop terrorism at our borders and protect Americans first,” the ad says, effectively suggesting Syrian refugees would become terrorists. The campaign clip seemingly applies a tactic used by George H.W. Bush campaign operatives in 1988, when they connected a violent felon’s rape of a woman while on furlough to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis’s policies as Massachusetts governor in a campaign ad.
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