COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In her primary race against an opponent backed by former President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina has released her first campaign ad, touting one of his signature projects: finishing the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“Enough is enough,” Mace says in the ad, provided in advance to The Associated Press. “Finish the wall, and secure our border, once and for all.”
The 30-second ad, running in a “six-figure” buy across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, takes President Joe Biden to task for mandating that American soldiers and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents be vaccinated against COVID-19 — part of an umbrella federal worker vaccine mandate — “while opening our borders to thousands of unvaccinated illegal immigrants, infected with COVID.”
“Washington needs to stop treating illegal immigrants better than our brave men and women in uniform,” Mace says in the ad.
As of Tuesday, 576 of the 19,156 detainees being held at federal facilities had tested positive for COVID-19, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s a positivity rate of 3%, below the infection rates most U.S. states are seeing among their general populations.
Next month, the Biden administration is expected to end the asylum limits at the U.S.-Mexico border that the Trump administration put in place in March 2020 when coronavirus caseloads first soared at the beginning of the pandemic. Officials said at the time that it would help keep COVID-19 out of the United States, but critics said it was an excuse to seal the border to migrants unwanted by Trump.
Mace joined a delegation accompanying agents patrolling the border near Laredo, Texas, last year, tweeting that she saw “first hand how open our borders are without physical barriers.”
At the time, Mace said on Twitter that the border is “a super spreader” and “a hotbed for drug smuggling, trafficking, illegal immigration, and untreated Covid-19 cases.”
Mace secured her 2020 victory as South Carolina’s first Republican woman elected to Congress with Trump’s backing, but drew his ire by voting to certify Biden’s election and making frequent television appearances blaming Trump for the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Last week, Mace announced that she had raised more than $1 million in the first quarter of this year, the bulk of it after Trump endorsed one of her GOP primary opponents, former state Rep. Katie Arrington.
Arrington announced taking in $807,000 in the first quarter, but most of that — $500,000 — came in the form of a personal loan from herself. Trump, who called Mace “crazy” at a rally in South Carolina last month, has not made any financial contributions to Arrington’s campaign.
Mace has raised more than $4.2 million for her reelection and said that she has $2.3 cash on hand. Arrington said that she ended the first quarter with $725,000 available to spend in the primary election.