The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday pushed a video using a Mariachi band to highlight a Democratic senator’s past positions on outsourcing jobs to Mexico.
The video, posted by NRSC communications director Jon Adams, features the band playing outside what appears to be Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) campaign headquarters, along with the hashtag “#MexicoJoe.”
In the video, a text overlay refers to the band as “a special gift” for Donnelly.
The NRSC did not immediately respond to TPM’s requests for comment.
— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) August 23, 2017
The Republican National Committee also pushed that moniker, with a discrete section of its website set up under the title “Mexico Joe” about his history on the subject.
Donnelly in 2016 criticized Carrier Corp. for outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, a practice the senator once called a “fancy term for ‘Someone in Indiana has just lost their job.'” In June, the Associated Press reported that Donnelly’s family business has a factory in Mexico.
The RNC cited that factory, as well as Donnelly’s previous criticism of outsourcing, as “hypocrisy.”
Indiana Democratic Party senior media strategist Will Baskin-Gerwitz told TPM by email, “Washington Republicans are resorting to cheap publicity stunts to distract from Joe’s stellar record on the issues that matter to Indiana’s economy.”
In a post-mortem on its defeat in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee concluded that it would “need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.”
President Donald Trump disregarded that admonition in 2015 when he announced his candidacy in a speech where he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and accused them of “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime” to the United States.
The RNC nominally persisted in its efforts to reach out to Latino voters amid Trump’s escalating, incendiary candidacy and presidency, while apparently loath to issue any sort of forceful rebuke to the President’s nativist remarks. It appears to have switched strategies and taken a page out of Trump’s book in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections.
This post has been updated.