(WASHINGTON) — While President Obama has returned to the campaign trail to court the black vote ahead of the midterm elections, race has arisen as an issue in two key Senate races, albeit for very different reasons.
A new television ad airing in Louisiana makes the case that the nation’s first black president has been bad for the black community.
The ad comes from a group called “Progressives for Immigration Reform” and uses images of Hurricane Katrina devastation and blacks standing in unemployment lines to argue that “our own president” wants to allow in millions of illegal immigrant workers to “take jobs when many of us still can’t find jobs.”
“African-Americans were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, devastated by joblessness and the Great Recession. Now, we face another challenger: Our own president,” the ad’s announcer says.
Progressives for Immigration Reform did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
Though the group’s stance on immigration reform falls on the conservative side of the political spectrum, the group’s website says it was founded on the principles of the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a Texas Democrat and the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives from the South. It describes its mission as protecting “low-skill, low wage American workers.”
The ad is not targeted at one specific candidate, but implores voters to “ask Louisiana’s leaders where they stand on millions more immigrant workers” at its conclusion.
Immigration reform has been a hot-button issue in the Louisiana Senate race, in which three-term incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu is facing a tough reelection bid against leading Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy. Both Landrieu and Cassidy have aired television ads portraying their opponent as weak on border security.
In Georgia, where Democrats hope a large African-American electorate could boost Senate candidate Michelle Nunn in her competitive race against Republican David Perdue, the state Democratic Party has sent out mailers that show images from Ferguson, Mo.
The mailers read, “It’s up to you to make change happen” and urge Democratic votes to prevent “another Ferguson.”
“The fight for the right to vote and for every vote to be counted is part of our state’s history, a part of the fabric that makes Georgia what it is today,” party spokesman Michael Smith told ABC News. “And we have seen what happens in places like Ferguson, Missouri, when voices are silenced.”
Read More →
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio