Bolsonaro's Message on Love and Peace Tested in Brazil Media

(Bloomberg) -- A street preacher climbs onto a crowded city bus in Brazil and starts rattling off questions in rapid-fire fashion to the sleepy commuters around him: Why do Brazilians no longer say good morning to each other anymore? Why has society become so divided and cold? And why are people turning their hatred against the government into hatred against one another?

The scene is from a video that will be tested on social media as a potential ad for Jair Bolsonaro, according to Arick Wierson, who advises the former Army captain’s campaign on public relations. Depending on its success, it could be used on television, he said. Bolsonaro’s press officers didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The video was posted by Marina Silva, the former environment minister and then presidential candidate, on Oct. 4. The video was produced by Silva aides according to her lawyer, Rafael Moreira Motta. A request to prohibit the use of it by others on social media was denied by the top electoral court on Oct. 6, Brasilia-based Motta said in a phone interview.

The paratrooper is the front-runner to win the presidency in an Oct. 28 runoff. After capturing 46 percent of the first first-round votes on Sunday, Bolsonaro is now trying to widen his base by assuaging the image many have of him as a macho bully who would favor the wealthy and tread on minorities, the environment, and even democracy.

"Who was it who invented the lie that our nation has no future, that women are worth less than men, that minorities don’t have the same rights," the apparent preacher dressed in a suit and buttoned up white shirt tells passengers on the bus who gradually look up, take out their earphones and listen.

Set to music that evokes a new awakening, the preacher hands the heavy book he has been clutching to a woman, gets off the bus. The campaign logo of Bolsonaro flashes.

The last scene reveals the book the preacher had been carrying - Brazil’s Constitution.

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