The Barack Obama campaign has released new TV and radio ads in Spanish that tie Republican opponent John McCain to anti-immigrant comments allegedly made by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh denies making those assertions.
The ads, airing in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, also suggest McCain has "dos caras" — "two faces" — when it comes to his relations with Latino voters.
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with, the intolerance," the television ad's announcer says in Spanish as a picture of Rush Limbaugh appears onscreen with quotes of him saying, "Mexicans are stupid and unqualified" and "Shut your mouth or get out."
"They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much," the ad continues in a translation provided by The Washington Post. "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families."
The companion radio ad uses the same script as above and then continues:
"Don't forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party. Many of us were born here, and others came to work and achieve a better life for their families — not to commit crimes or drain the system like many of John McCain's friends claim. Let's not be fooled by political tricks from John McCain and the Republicans. Vote so they respect us. Vote for a change."
Limbaugh reacted to the ads on Wednesday, telling his listeners: “I never said those things … We have this ad in which I am misquoted and impugned…
“Even in the heat of the amnesty battle, I never said shut your mouth or get out.
“What we have learned is that the usual suspects are behind this. The Media Matters types, the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting types.”
Limbaugh explained the context in which one of his alleged anti-Latino quotes was uttered.
“The statement you're a foreigner, shut your mouth and get out, was made, I did say it, but in a parody of Mexican immigration laws in a Morning Update April 6th of 2006.
“We were making fun of Mexican immigration laws by trying to point out the stark difference between what you can do as an immigrant or illegal immigrant in Mexico versus what they can do here.
“Now, let me just give you some of the highlights of this: ‘Everybody's making immigration proposals these days. Let me add mine to the mix. Call it the Limbaugh Laws…
“‘First, if you emigrate to our country you have to speak the native language. You have to be a professional or an investor. No unskilled workers allowed. Also there will be no special bilingual programs in the schools with the Limbaugh Laws, no special ballots for elections, no government business will be conducted in your language, foreigners will not have the right to vote or hold political office.
“‘If you're in our country, you cannot be a burden to taxpayers. You are not entitled to welfare, food stamps, or other government goodies. You can come if you invest here an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage. If not, stay home. But if you want to buy land it's going to be restricted. No waterfront, for instance. As a foreigner, you must relinquish individual rights to the property.
“‘And another thing, you don't have the right to protest. You're allowed no demonstrations, no foreign flag waving, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. You're a foreigner, either shut your mouth or get out. And if you come here illegally, you're going to jail.
“‘You think the Limbaugh Laws are harsh? Well, every one of these laws I just mentioned are actual laws of Mexico today. That's how the Mexican government handles immigrants in their country, yet Mexicans come here illegally and protest in our streets. How do you say double standard in Spanish?’”
Limbaugh said on Wednesday that the left “constantly takes me totally out of context” and added:
“The Obama campaign has taken ‘shut your mouth or get out’ from this commentary and put it in an Obama ad and claiming I said that about Mexicans in this country, when I never have, plain and simple.”
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