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Tancredo ad ties immigrants to violence

Tom Tancredo's initial TV ad seems G-rated in comparison to its sequel, going for shock value with actual photos of bloodied bodies.
/ Source: National Journal

's initial TV ad seems G-rated in comparison to its sequel.

The Republican presidential candidate raised some eyebrows last month, when his advertising debut featured a man, presumably an illegal immigrant, placing a bomb in a backpack and leaving it in a crowded shopping center. But his newest spot, which is already garnering some media attention, moves beyond fictional imagery and goes for shock value with actual photos of bloodied bodies.

After Tancredo says he approves the ad "because someone needs to say it," graphic photos of mothers and children who the ad claims were executed by Central American gangs appear on screen. While the gangs originated in Honduras, an announcer tells viewers that lax border security and immigration laws have allowed them to come to the United States, where they are "pushing drugs, raping kids [and] destroying lives -- thanks to gutless politicians who refuse to defend our borders." Tancredo's answer to the problem, the one he's long been advocating both in Congress and on the campaign trail, is to "secure the borders, deport those who don't belong [and] make sure they never come back."

Appearing at a press conference Tuesday in Iowa to unveil the new spot, Tancredo defended his ad campaign. "What we state [in the ads] is something that is completely factual," he said, according to the Des Moines Register. "Certainly, I think we should all be fearful of the massive problems caused by illegal immigration." He also said "Iowa is definitely on its way to sanctuary statehood."

The Tancredo campaign says it hopes to expand the ad buy, which is currently running only in Iowa, to New Hampshire and South Carolina as well. Meanwhile, Tancredo may have successfully steered the GOP primary debates toward the immigration issue, but his support has remained in the single digits in most national and early primary state polls.

Edwards hopes to stay above the fray in Iowa
With less than one month to go before the crucial Iowa Democratic caucus, former North Carolina Sen. is stepping up his advertising efforts in the Hawkeye State with two new TV spots focusing on familiar messages: giving children a better future and securing health care for all Americans. "There is nothing we can't do if we do it together," Edwards optimistically concludes in one of the ads.

Edwards has delivered some hard blows to his rivals in recent months, but he told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he will use the last month of the campaign to focus on his positive message of change rather than feuds with other candidates. Edwards continues to trail New York Sen. and Illinois Sen. by large margins in national polls, but the former vice presidential candidate remains in hot pursuit of the two front-runners in Iowa, averaging just 4 points behind them, according to RealClearPolitics.