Republican candidate for Congress Mike Pape has released a new ad in which he pledges to help presidential candidate Donald Trump build a U.S./Mexico border wall if he’s elected as Kentucky’s next 1st District Representative.
In the ad, three apparent Mexicans approach a border fence wearing t-shirts that say, “Stop Trump” “Stop Ted Cruz” and “Stop Pape”. The subtitled, heavily-accented actors explain that Pape will work to build Trump’s wall or help Cruz repeal Obamacare, before saying they must stop him and charge into the country illegally. Pape then appears in the foreground to say he approves the message.
Al Cross, director of the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, said he was disappointed in Pape's ad.
“He’s just going to the bottom of the barrel, appealing to people’s worst instincts, using crass stereotypes and, really, appealing to the ignorance that begets fear and ultimately hate," Cross said.
Still, Cross sees the ad as a strategic maneuver.
“He’s appealing to people’s basest instincts and he is trying to hook himself to the Trump bandwagon without abandoning Cruz, who is popular in the district."
Pape faces James Comer, Jason Batts and Miles Caughey in the May 17 Republican primary. The winner will likely face Army veteran Sam Gaskins of Hopkinsville in November's general election. Incumbent Ed Whitfield is retiring after more than two decades in Washington.