The morning after saying Ben Carson exhibits “pathological” tendencies for allegedly stabbing someone as a teenager, likening him to a child molester, Donald Trump released an Instagram video effectively turning the retired neurosurgeon into the new Willie Horton. Trump’s camp laid horror-film music over old footage of Carson recounting the alleged stabbing, with the closing caption: “Violent criminal or pathological liar? We don’t need either as president.”
Willie Horton is a convicted felon who, in 1988, became a household name when he was the subject of a George H.W. Bush attack ad against Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis. Two years prior, the Massachusetts governor allowed Horton’s release from prison for a weekend furlough, during which time he escaped and raped a woman. The ad was widely considered to be an attempt to gin up racial fears about Horton-like convicts and a “soft on crime” Dukakis.