Commentators have compared the ad to the “Willie Horton” ad attacking Michael Dukakis in support of George H.W. Bush in 1988. The ad retells the case of Horton, an African-American man serving a life sentence for murder, who was temporarily released on a furlough program supported by Dukakis. He escaped, and raped a white woman and stabbed her fiance. The ad was “playing to white fears about black crime,” said Claire Jean Kim, political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

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