A New York Times reporter accused the GOP of “appealing to White fears and resentments” when it came to messaging on crime this election season.
In the politics section, congressional correspondent David Weisman slammed Republicans for “seizing” on crime concerns and “injecting race into contests across the country” with ads that Democrats say are racist.
Weisman complained one GOP ad targeting Wisconsin Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and another going after North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley were “appealing to White fears and resentments” because they portrayed both candidates as soft-on-crime.
Both Democrats are Black. The ads highlight Barnes as “dangerous” for pledging to end cash bail and accuse Beasley of calling a man who killed a police officer a “good person” while she was his defense attorney.
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The Times compared these ads to ones deemed racist in decades past, before charging Republicans for standing by them.
“But while Republicans quietly stood by advertising that Democrats called racist in 2018, this year, they have responded with defiance, saying they see nothing untoward in their imagery and nothing to apologize for,” Weisman wrote.
His article also called GOP ads which showed footage of Black Lives Matter riots and illegal immigrants crossing the border, “racist fear tactics.”
“Such language, as well as ads portraying chaos by depicting Black rioters and Hispanic immigrants illegally racing across the border, have prompted Democrats and their allies to accuse Republicans of resorting to racist fear tactics,” Weisman added.
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Republicans hit back at the paper’s suggestions they were appealing to racism.
Chris Hartline, a spokesman for the Republican Senatorial Committee, said the claim was “stupid but not surprising.”
“We’re using their own words and their own records. If they don’t like it, they should invent a time machine, go back in time and not embrace dumb-ass ideas that voters are rejecting,” he bluntly told the Times.
Another bristled at the paper for deciding an ad highlighting Beasley’s record defending violent criminals had “racial” overtones.
Sen. Budd campaign spokesman Jonathan Felts said, “Are you suggesting the ad makers should make up fake victims, or are you suggesting she shouldn’t be held accountable for her judicial and legal record?”