It’s morning again in … Canada?
The misplaced video follows a similar error last month in a Donald Trump ad, which featured a clip showing people rushing across a national border with the phrase “stop illegal immigration” appearing onscreen. The trouble was that the illegal immigrants in the video were Moroccans making a break for the Spanish enclave of Melilla, not Mexicans storming into the United States.
Trump’s screw-up was serious news. Rubio’s? Not so much. The media mostly seem to be laughing it off.
At first blush, the different reactions look like an unfair double standard — evidence that the press is out to get Trump. But there’s a good reason the media treated Trump’s foreign footage offense as worse than Rubio’s: It was.
Trump’s use of video from Morocco was highly misleading. Throughout the campaign, as he has heralded his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, the Republican presidential front-runner has tried to convince voters that the Southern border is in total chaos.
“We have no border,” he said in Saturday’s debate in Greenville, S.C. “We have no control. People are flooding across. We can't have it.”
“Flooding across” is hyperbolic, but to make it seem accurate, the Trump campaign inserted a clip from another country that fit the description. The move was clearly designed to give viewers a false impression.
By contrast, Rubio’s Canadian vista looks like an honest mistake. It doesn’t reinforce an exaggerated claim; it’s nothing more than a picturesque sunrise scene that some video editor didn’t realize had been shot in Vancouver. It’s sloppy, kind of funny (though not as funny as it would have been in a Ted Cruz ad, we would note) and ultimately harmless. It doesn’t misinform voters.
It might look like Trump and Rubio are guilty of the same thing here. But they’re not.