A 60-second television ad comparing former President Ronald Reagan's words on immigration to three of the current GOP presidential candidates will air during Wednesday's second Republican debate, The Washington Post
The National Immigration Forum Action Fund also will air the ad before and after the debate on CNN, the host network of the debate that will be held at the Reagan Library. Additional ad buys will take place during post-debate coverage on Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
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The ad focuses on front-runner Donald Trump, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who have suggested ending birthright citizenship as a means of fighting illegal immigration. Trump has said he will build a large all along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The spot tarts with Reagan's 1989 farewell address in which he invokes the "Shining City on a Hill" from his 1984 acceptance speech.
"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life," Reagan says. "God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace."
The ad then cuts to Trump, in his June 16 announcement speech, saying of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico, "They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. … If I’m elected, they’re gonna get out of there Day One."
Walker can be heard answering a question on whether birthright citizenship should be stopped. "Yeah. Absolutely," Walker says.
"I've said we should end birthright citizenship," Cruz said.
"I will build a great, great wall," Trump adds.
The ad concludes with Reagan's 1989 address: "In my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans. And, if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it — and see it still."
The ad's sponsor is a separate arm of the National Immigration Forum, of which Jeb Bush Jr., son of presidential candidate Jeb Bush, is a board member. The main group is not responsible for the buying the ad.
The group is paying about $750,000 for ad buys, The New York Times
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