Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday released his first television commercial in the 2016 race for the White House with a 30-second spot highlighting his stance on Muslims, immigration and terrorism.
The ad will air starting on Tuesday in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key early voting states in the run-up to the party's nomination convention in July ahead of the November election, Trump's campaign said in a statement on its website.
The commercial reiterates the Republican front-runner's recent call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States and pledges a tough stance against Islamic State and acts of terrorism.
"The politicians can pretend it's something else. But Donald Trump calls it radical Islamic terrorism. That's why he's calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what's going on," a narrator says.
Trump, the ad continues, will "quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil. And he'll stop illegal immigrants by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for."
The new ad features dark images of the San Bernardino shooters, who were Muslims, and body bags followed by images of people apparently streaming freely across a border.
Trump leads national public opinion polls of the 12 Republicans seeking their party's presidential nomination, although he is trailing in some state polls.
Reuters/Ipsos polling showed Trump with 38 percent support among Republican respondents, followed by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with nearly 15 percent, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 12 percent. (bit.ly/1muNTuD)
"I don’t know if I need it, but I don’t want to take any chances because if I win we are going to make America great again," Trump said in a statement accompanying the ad on his website.
He said last week he planned to spend at least $2 million a week on ads in early voting states.
On Monday, his campaign said it is also releasing a radio ad later this week in South Carolina, another key state.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz, at times a Trump critic, predicted the new ad would help Trump among the slice of Republican voters who participate in early voting contests.
"This may not be a majority position in the country," Luntz said of the Muslim ban. "It may not even be a majority position within the Republican Party, but among those who will vote in the caucuses and the primaries it is a popular position, and he will benefit from it."
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