- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Republican Party made clear on Tuesday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s comments on the violent MS-13 gang will haunt Democrats until the midterm elections.

President Trump recently prompted an angry backlash by members of the media and his political opponents by referring to MS-13 members as “animals,” but the Republican Party is betting that American voters are on his side. Its new campaign ad titled “Democrats’ Midterm Message? MS-13 killers aren’t so bad” tallied over 52,000 views in less than six hours.

“When the president of the United States says these aren’t people, these are animals, you have to wonder does he not believe in the spark of divinity,” the California speaker says in stock footage used for the spot.

Mrs. Pelosi’s admonishments of Mr. Trump’s wording is juxtaposed with news footage detailing the barbaric crimes perpetrated by MS-13’s members.

“We’re talking about MS-13. They’re motto is ‘rape. torture. kill.’ … The victim was stabbed more than 100 times, decapitated, dismembered, and his heart was cut out of his chest and then thrown into a pre-dug grave. … The two young men shown here kidnapped, sexually assaulted and shot a 15-year-old girl sacrificing her in the name of Satan,” three different newscasters add.

SEE ALSO: Sarah Sanders scorches ‘media and liberals,’ says they’re ‘welcome’ to defend MS-13 ‘animals’

Ed Morrisey of the conservative blog Hot Air noted recent polling that makes the ad buy a logical decision.

“Americans split 56/44 in support of using an ‘animals’ metaphor,” Mr. Morrisey wrote Tuesday. “The question splits young voters (under 35) down the middle, but all other age demos have solid majorities finding ‘animals’ a fair description of MS-13.”

“In other words, getting into semantic games over the use of a metaphor doesn’t look like a winner for Pelosi & Co, which is why the RNC rushed out its first attack ad on the subject,” he continued. “It won’t be the last, since Pelosi’s argument only wins significantly among African-Americans (35/65) and Democrats, but only 41/59. Pelosi’s argument isn’t even a slam dunk inside the fold, let alone outside of it.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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