Just days before the midterm election, embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter announced his enthusiastic support for President Trump’s plan to send thousands of troops to the southern border.
“We’re here standing up for the one thing that I think is extremely important in that we agree with the President as he sends and directs troops to the border,” Hunter said at a press conference Thursday.
Hunter said he wrote a letter to President Trump encouraging him to use those border troops to build infrastructure such as border roads to help Customs and Border Protection.
“With the military on its way to the border now," he said. "Now is the time to strike and start building the border road."
Hunter has largely stayed out of the public eye since being indicted in August for misusing campaign funds. But with an American flag held behind him and Republican congressional candidates Diane Harkey and Juan Hidalgo around him, Hunter insisted the media event was not a campaign event.
“It’s not a campaign ploy or stunt,” he said.
Hunter repeated that claim to sidestep questions about his pending indictment and a widely criticized ad his campaign put out calling his Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar a security threat.
“At the end of the day [the ad] was racist, it was xenophobic, and it was un-American,” Nick Singer, a spokesman for the Campa-Najjar campaign, said.
Recent polls show the incumbent, Hunter, holds a narrowing lead over Campa-Najjar in the deeply red district.
Political observers tell NBC 7 this race should never have been close at all.