Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Tim Scott released a campaign ad Thursday vowing to “unleash” the U.S. military to combat the cartels taking advantage of the southern border.
In the ad, Scott, who serves as a senator representing South Carolina, called out the Biden administration for allowing the Mexican drug cartels to operate with impunity as tens of thousands of Americans die each year from fentanyl. Scott visited the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time as a presidential candidate in Yuma, Arizona, Aug. 4, when he pledged to finish construction of the wall if he’s elected.
“If you don’t control your back door, it’s not your house,” Scott said in the ad. “And if we don’t control this border, it’s not our country.”
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Fentanyl is mainly produced by cartels in clandestine labs in Mexico with precursor chemicals from China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The synthetic narcotic is largely responsible for the more than 100,000 overdose deaths that occurred in 2021.
Meanwhile, Mexican drug cartels have amassed more military-grade equipment, including armored “monster” trucks, in recent years to assert their dominance in Mexico.
Their smuggling operations have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry requiring payment for anyone that wants to cross the southern border, according to The New York Times.
“Last year we lost 70,000 Americans to fentanyl because Joe Biden surrendered our southern border to the Mexican drug cartels. As commander in chief, I’ll unleash our military to crush the cartels and stop these terrorists from killing our kids,” Scott said.
The ad will air in Iowa and New Hampshire as part of a $6 million ad buy, Scott’s campaign told the DCNF.
Several Republican contenders for the 2024 presidential election, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, have pledged to designate the Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
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Former President Donald Trump will leverage military action against the Mexican cartels if he’s reelected to the White House. Meanwhile, Pence sees such an action as a last resort.
“The first job of a government is to secure the safety of its people, be that in deterrence abroad against our foreign adversaries or securing the southern border. During the Trump-Pence administration, we deployed the National Guard to stop the tidal flood of illegal immigrants into our country, chaos, but…deploying the National Guard should be the last line of defense,” Pence previously said in a statement to the DCNF.
Scott is polling at 2.9% among Republican candidates vying for the party’s nomination, according to the Real Clear Politics average.
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