Senate races

Liberal criticism mounts on Grimes ‘illegal aliens’ campaign ad

Liberal criticism continues to mount on Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for using the term “illegal aliens” to hit her opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), on immigration.

{mosads}“Immigration reform is a critical issue that will require leadership and political courage to do the right thing,” Latino Victory Project President Cristóbal Alex said in a statement. “To see a candidate from either party use this kind of language in advertising is unacceptable in 2014, and we condemn this attempt by Alison Lundergan Grimes to play ugly politics with an issue so important to our community and the nation.”

Actress Eva Longoria co-founded the Latino Victory Project to advocate for Hispanic voters. All of its endorsed candidates are Democrats. 

This outcry is just the latest from Democratic allies who condemn the ad. Both and Democracy for America called for the Grimes campaign to take the ad down. 

The ad in question accuses McConnell of supporting “amnesty and taxpayer-funded benefits to 3 million illegal aliens, the largest legalization program in U.S. history.” And during the “stand by your ad” tag at the end of the ad, Grimes doubles down.

“I’ve never supported amnesty or benefits for illegal immigrants, and I never will,” she says in the ad.

The term “illegal aliens” has drawn the ire of liberal groups who think it’s offensive. Immigration activists have been pushing to use other terms like “undocumented immigrants” that criminalize actions instead of people.

When asked to respond to the controversy, Grimes’s campaign manager Jonathan Hurst did not address the backlash. He defended Grimes’s support of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, which the chamber passed last year with support from 14 Republicans.

“Alison favors comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. ”Neither the recent bill that passed the Senate nor any other serious bill currently supported by most Democrats and Republicans is amnesty. Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy on this issue is breathtaking.” 

Although the video is unlisted on YouTube, its views have almost tripled since the ad’s existence became publicized on Tuesday.

Grimes is stumping today with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sam Youngman, a political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, tweeted that Grimes did not address the controversy at a breakfast Wednesday morning.

Tags Alison Lundergan Grimes Hillary Clinton Immigration Kentucky Senate Latino Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell
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