Georgia Republican Michael Williams rolled out a 'deportation bus' plastered with racist messages for his gubernatorial campaign. It has not gone well for him.
Republican Michael Williams, a Georgia state senator and former state co-chair of the Trump campaign, wanted to stand out from the pack in the state governor race.
So he is now touring in what he calls the "deportation bus": a gray bus painted with offensive messages like "FILL THIS BUS WITH ILLEGALS," "FOLLOW ME TO MEXICO," and "DANGER! MURDERERS, RAPISTS, KIDNAPPERS, CHILD MOLESTORS [sic], AND OTHER CRIMINALS ON BOARD." He plans to drive the bus through Georgia's "dangerous sanctuary cities."
When I'm Governor, we're going to deport criminal illegals in GA by making the 287(g) illegal deportation program STATEWIDE
Vote Republican Michael Williams May 22nd -the only candidate for governor that endorsed Donald Trump - the others wouldn't endorse him against Hillary! pic.twitter.com/fEATVD8GM4
— Michael Williams (@williamsforga) May 15, 2018
So far, however, this racist stunt is not going well for him.
To begin with, YouTube initially took down his video, saying that it violated the site's policy against hate speech. YouTube later relented and allowed the video back up. But some Georgians seem to agree that it's hateful, with a crowd showing up Wednesday to protest the bus tour at one stop.
The tour got even more embarrassing after it was condemned by the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain, where the campaign held at least 10 stops.
"We are not sponsoring this event or supporting Mr. Williams' campaign stops in any way, and per our company policy, we will not allow him — or any political candidate — to host an event on Cracker Barrel's property," said the company. "We take pride in showing our communities and our country that the hospitality we practice is indeed welcoming and inclusive to all."
Making matters even more embarrassing, the DeKalb County Police Department contradicted the Williams campaign's claim that violent protesters had trapped the bus in Decatur.
"Upon a police supervisor and officers arrival at the scene, they did not observe any violence or criminal activity," the department said in a written statement.
And nor did it help matters when the bus briefly broke down on Thursday.
But some other candidates are resorting to nativist stunts, too. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who recently drew outrage for pointing a shotgun at a teenager in an ad, recently released another ad in which he says he owns a truck "in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself."
Williams' bus is a vivid example of a toxic hate that runs through the Republican Party — and is now backfiring.