Updated: July 08, 2020 11:47 AM
Created: July 07, 2020 10:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Trump campaign bought more than $100,000 worth of television ads in New Mexico.
KOB 4 Investigator Chris Ramirez fact-checked the ad to determine what is accurate and what is misleading.
At the beginning of the ad, an automated 911 answering system plays.
“You have reached the 911 police emergency line. Due to the defunding of the police department, we're sorry, but no one is here to take your call. If you are calling to report a rape, please press 1. To report a murder, press 2. To report a home invasion, press 3. For all other crimes, leave a name and number and someone will get back to you. Our estimated wait time is 5 days. Good bye.”
At the end of the ad the text, “Joe Biden’s supporters are fighting to defund the police departments,” appears on screen.
While that message is technically accurate because many liberals and likely-voters of Joe Biden support the “Defund the Police” movement, it is also misleading.
Joe Biden has publically stated that he opposed defunding the police.
The next message in the ad states, “Violent crime has exploded.”
In Albuquerque, a city where this ad was playing, that message is accurate, but violent crime rates hit historic levels in Albuquerque during Trump’s presidency. Albuquerque had more homicides in 2019 than any other year on record.
The next text reads, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s American.”
The 4 Investigates team deems that misleading because sitting presidents have very little or no control of local police departments. Elected county sheriffs control the policies and operations of a sheriff’s department and county commissioners fund the department.
In cities, mayors and city councils decide on the funding levels of local police departments.
The president of the United State has no authority over local police or sheriff’s departments.
“It really is trying to elicit fear in people and make them stop and think about the president election,” said Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at UNM.
Atkeson said the Trump campaign placed ads in New Mexico because the campaign believes New Mexican is a state in play.
“He really believes that this is a competitive state for him,” she said.
“He is really playing off the Bush playbook in 2004 and Bush won this state in 2004 by about 2,000 votes, so it was a close election contest. What was different in that race is that he really mobilized people in rural areas and offset the urban people with rural voters,” she added.
This strategy is a long shot for President Trump. According to polls released in mid-June, Biden is leading over trump by 14 points in New Mexico. In 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in New Mexico by an 8 point margin.
The former vice president has not placed ads in this television market yet, but when he does, he will be subject to the 4 Investigates ad fact-checking as well.
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