Hillary Clinton is not holding back in a new anti-Trump ad that depicts her opponent as a folk hero of American white supremacists. Cobbling together interviews with Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, Clinton paints a bleak image of what it could mean if Donald Trump — and the angry white people he represents — gains control of the White House.
The ad opens on an interview with the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the KKK, who is covered head to toe in his Klansman robe and hood. “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in,” he says. “Donald Trump would be best for the job.”
Next, viewers are treated to a recording of a white-supremacist-funded robo-call in support of Trump. “I am a farmer and white nationalist,” a voice says. “Support Donald Trump.” The ad then cuts to footage of Jared Taylor, founder of the American Renaissance, a white supremacist online magazine. Taylor tells the camera: “Sending out all the illegals, building a wall, and a moratorium on Islamic immigration. That’s really appealing to a lot of ordinary white people.”
Then, an old photograph of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who is currently running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana on the Republican ticket, fills the screen. “Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” he says. The ad cuts to footage of Donald Trump refusing to condemn Duke and the KKK on Jake Tapper’s CNN show.
Focus is then shifted to new Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon, who is depicted as yet another representative of the American white nationalist movement. One CNN commentator calls Bannon “a campaign chair that ran a website that has become a field day for the alt-right, which is racist and all sorts of other ‘ists.'” Another pundit chimes in: “The alt-right … is a sort of dressed-up-in-suits version of the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.”
The ad ends with a black and white photo of the White House. “If Trump wins, they could be running the country,” the on-screen title reads.
As MSNBC reporter Benjy Sarlin points out, the imagery in Clinton’s new ad has much in common with a never-aired anti-Barry Goldwater ad, which was prepared by Lyndon B. Johnson’s campaign staff in 1964: