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White House knocks 'political racism' after ad against Virginia Republican

 
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders singled out an ad being run in the Virginia governor's race this week that goes after GOP candidate Ed Gillespie.
 
"The media continues to want to make this and push that this is some sort of racially charged and divided White House — frankly, the only people I see stoking political racism right now are the people in the groups that are running ads like the one you saw take place in Virginia earlier this week," Sanders said at the White House press briefing.
 
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The Trump spokeswoman's comments came after an ad run by the Latino Victory Fund in Virginia sparked uproar this week. The ad features a racially diverse group of children running from a pickup truck that's flying a Confederate flag and a bumper sticker from Gillespie's campaign.
 
The truck corners the children in an alley, and the ad cuts to one of the children waking up from a nightmare.
 
"Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream?" says a voice over a scene of the child's parents watching TV footage of the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
 
The ad was released in English and Spanish by the Latino Victory Fund (LVF), an advocacy group that supports Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.
 
“In a desperate attempt to become Virginia’s next governor, Ed Gillespie has eagerly embraced racism and xenophobia. We refuse to stand by as bullies like Gillespie slander our families, call us ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals,’ and portray hard-working immigrants as a national security threat,” said Cristobal J. Alex, president of LVF. 
 
Gillespie weighed in on the ad Tuesday, calling it "a new low" during an appearance on "Fox & Friends."
 
"This attack is not just an attack on my supporters, who are good, decent hardworking Virginians who love their neighbors, it's an attack on all Virginians," he said.
 
But the ad's producers argue it's fair play, given the parallels Gillespie has drawn between immigrants and violent crime.
 
"Gillespie's campaign has been running the most divisive and negative campaign in modern history, demonizing immigrants as violent gang members," said Colin Rogero, whose firm, 76 Words, produced the ad. 
 
"We cannot continue to allow Republicans to get away with this. It's about time. We're fighting fire with fire creatively," he added.
 
Sanders brought up the ad in response to a reporter's question about whether the White House would acknowledge that chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE's earlier comments on the Civil War were "deeply offensive to some folks, and historically inaccurate."
 
"No … Because you don't like history doesn't mean you can erase it and pretend it didn't happen. And I think that was the point General Kelly was trying to make," Sanders responded.
 
Kelly came under fire after an interview on Fox News Monday in which he defended Confederate General Robert E. Lee and argued that the Civil War happened because of a "lack of compromise."