Tancredo’s Explosive Campaign Ad

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 12, 2007 3:40pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: The struggling presidential campaign of Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, has produced a startling new television ad in which an actor portrays a terrorist exploding a bomb in a crowded American shopping mall.

Tancredo has built his presidential campaign around his opposition to illegal immigration and amnesty for undocumented workers and in the new ad, a voiceover tells the viewer there are "Consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs. Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil — Jihadists who froth with hate here to do as they have in London, Spain, Russia."

Interspersed with images from these terror attacks, the actor, whose features are not distinguishable behind a green hooded sweatshirt, loads a bomb into a backpack and walks into a suburban-looking shopping mall. He leaves the backpack by a bench in the mall and walks off.

"The price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill," intones the narrator.

Then there is an explosion.

The screen cuts to black and white lettering appears: "Tancredo. Before its too late."

The ad begins with Tancredo saying he approved the message "because someone needs to say it," which has become the new unofficial motto of his campaign.

Scary political ads are nothing new. They all owe something to the 1964 "Daisy" ad for President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In that ad, a little girl is playing with a flower before an ominous coundown and a nuclear explosion. Then, as the mushroom cloud plumes, Johnson’s voice can be heard saying "These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of god’s children can live or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

Of course, the Daisy ad caused such an uproar that it only aired once, in September of 1964. Take a look at it here.

Tancredo’s ad, on the other hand, will air repeatedly in Iowa and New Hampshire on network affiliates and nationally on cable, according to a campaign spokesman. He did not have specific numbers for the ad buy, but said the ad will run through the Iowa caucuses and the campaign plans to spend "well over a million dollars" running it.

Tancredo has not received much support in polls lately with only single digit support and his fundraising fell off in the most recent fundraising quarter. He raised just under $800,000 in the third quarter of 2007, down from nearly $1.5 million in the second quarter. He reported only just over $100,000 cash on hand at the end of the third quarter.

He did best as a fundraiser when Congress was debating an ultimately failed plan to comprehensively overhaul immigration policy.  Tancredo has applied for public financing for his campaign.

In a recent radio ad, Tancredo said, "Some call me a single issue candidate, and that’s fine, so long as you know my single issue is the survival of the America we have been so blessed to inherit."

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