Dueling Trump and Cruz immigration ads… in New Hampshire

January 5, 2016

In contrast to Donald Trump, who has stoked fear in his efforts to make immigration reform the centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency, his Republican rival Ted Cruz uses humor.

Trump released his first TV ad of the election cycle in Iowa and New Hampshire on Monday that included a video of migrants running over the Moroccan border to suggest the same fate would befall the United States if it doesn’t secure its southern border with the massive wall he’s proposing Mexico fund.

The real estate mogul trails the U.S. senator from Texas in opinion polling in Iowa, but he’s leading him by double digits in New Hampshire. Many Republican analysts believe Cruz is well positioned to win Iowa. Cruz is polling nearly even with Florida Senator Marco Rubio in the more moderate New Hampshire – though the senatorial pair is still double digits behind Trump.

And so it was striking that Cruz responded to Trump’s ad on Tuesday with an immigration-themed commercial of his own appealing to voters’ economic sensibilities rather than security fears airing just in New Hampshire that shows a stream of people dressed in business attire trying to make their way over the border.

“The politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were coming across the Rio Grande, or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages in the press,” Cruz says in the spot. “Then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation.”

Like Trump, Cruz is pushing for tougher border security. He says he would triple the forces patrolling the border, and in what may be a slight dig at Trump, says, “We will build a wall that works.”

In other words, the Cruz wall may not be beautiful as Trump’s, but it would get the job done.

Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump (L) reaches out to Senator Ted Cruz (R) as they talk during a commercial break during the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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