Willie Horton Ad

The Willie Horton ad was a political television advertisement used by those sympathetic to Republican George H. W. Bush's campaign during the 1988 presidential election against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. The attack ad emphasized Dukakis's support of a weekend furlough program in his home state of Massachusetts, where he served as governor. This program, as the ad claimed, allowed Willie Horton, convicted of murder in 1974, to commit rape and armed robbery after he was released from prison in 1987 on a weekend furlough and never returned. A picture of Willie Horton is included in the ad, thus showing that he is of African American descent. This attack first materialized after Lee Atwater, a strategist for Bush's campaign, consulted with aides Jim Pinkerton and ...

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