Biden, GOP group launch anti-Trump ads in AZ, other battlegrounds




    Screenshot via YouTube

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is going on the attack in Arizona and other battleground states with a new ad accusing President Donald Trump of being asleep at the switch as COVID-19 ravaged the country, and devastated the economy.

    The new digital spot, released Monday, will run on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Axios reported, citing the Biden campaign.

    “We have an economic crisis because we have a public health crisis, and we have a public health crisis because he failed to act,” Andrew Bates, the Biden campaign’s rapid response director, told Axios this week.

    The Trump campaign fired back, calling the spot a “factually inaccurate attempt to be relevant by Joe Biden,” according to Axios.

    Meanwhile, an ad seeking to persuade Republicans not to vote for Trump went up on cable television stations in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Arizona Mirror’s sibling site, the Wisconsin Examiner, reported.

    The ad, titled “Mourning in America,” contrasts Trump with Ronald Reagan, and has generated more than 20 million impressions on YouTube and prompted an angry rant on Twitter from Trump, the Examiner reported.

    “More than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored,” a solemn male voice declares over a weeping chorus of violins. “With the economy in shambles, more than 26 million Americans are out of work. 

    “There’s mourning in America,” the ad continues, “and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker, and sicker and poorer. And now Americans are asking: If we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?”

    The ad is part of an effort by the Lincoln Project, a super PAC founded in December 2019 by a group of prominent Republicans whose  mission is “to defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.”

    The group’s founders include George Conway, New York attorney and husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway; John Weaver, a former advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign and Sarah Lenti, the group’s executive director. Lenti served on George W. Bush’s National Security Council and worked on McCain’s campaign in Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, before helping Mitt Romney write his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

    In response to the ad, Trump tweeted:

    Recent polling has shown Trump in trouble in Arizona, despite winning the state by 3.5% in 2016. The general election polling average compiled by the website Real Clear Politics shows Biden consistently leading Trump since March, by an average of more than 4 percentage points. 

    This isn’t the Lincoln Project’s first foray into politics in Arizona. In January, after U.S. Sen. Martha McSally voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial, the group labeled her a “Trump hack” in a scathing digital ad.

    Never-Trumpers: McSally is a ‘Trump hack’ who won’t be remembered

    The Lincoln Project ad said McSally pales in comparison to the late John McCain – whose Senate seat she was appointed to in 2019 – and other “true independents” who represented Arizona in the Senate, like Barry Goldwater. 

    “They stood for what was right, no matter the political risk. And they are remembered as American heroes,” the ad declared. “And you, Martha? You’ll be remembered as just another Trump hack… If you’re remembered at all.”

    This story was adapted from a report originally published on PennCapital-Star.com, a sibling publication of Arizona Mirror, with the headline “Anti-Trump ads from Biden, GOP group hit the air in Pa., other 2020 battleground states.”

    Jim Small
    Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.