Biden campaign launches advertising attack on ‘convicted criminal’ Trump

biden campaign launches advertising attack on ‘convicted criminal’ trump

Biden campaign launches advertising attack on ‘convicted criminal’ Trump

The Biden campaign released a new ad Monday that directly attacks former president Donald Trump for his 34 felony convictions in New York and earlier verdicts by civil juries that found he committed sexual assault and business fraud.

“In the courtroom we see Donald Trump for who he is,” the voice-over in the ad begins, before recounting Trump’s recent legal setbacks over a series of black-and-white photos. The ad then displays Trump’s Georgia mug shot taken following his indictment for alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“This election is between a convicted criminal who is only out for himself and a president who is fighting for your family,” the ad concludes, after describing efforts by Biden to lower health care costs and taking on corporate power.

Biden’s campaign also announced plans Monday to spend $50 million on advertising in June, including more than $1 million targeting non-White voters. Those include spots targeting Asian American voters on health care issues, an ad that seeks to demonstrate Biden’s empathy for voters struggling with higher prices and a radio ad targeting Black voters with descriptions of Biden’s accomplishments. The Trump campaign has yet to run a general election ad on television, as it seeks to catch up in fundraising.

Trump was convicted last month of 34 felonies related to an effort to conceal payments to an adult-film star to cover up an alleged extramarital affair. A New York jury found in 2023 that Trump had sexually abused and defamed a woman who said he assaulted her in a department store in the mid-1990s. A New York judge fined Trump in February after finding in a second civil trial that he engaged in business fraud to borrow money at lower rates.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all of those cases, and still faces trials in three other criminal cases related to his handling of classified records and his efforts to disrupt the transfer of power after the 2020 election.

The latest ad, called “Character Matters,” builds upon an argument that the Biden campaign began making in May. The president and his campaign have argued that Trump has changed since he first won the nomination in 2016 and was more focused on serving himself than the American people. “Something snapped” Biden has begun saying at campaign events, arguing that Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 election results triggered the shift.

Biden’s aides see the argument as a way of combating polling that shows Americans have more positive feelings for Trump’s presidency than they do for Biden’s time in office, an alarming fact to many Democrats. They hope that an argument based on the idea that Trump has changed will focus voters on how his personal behavior since leaving office could affect a second term in office.

Polling and focus groups by both the campaign and independent groups supporting Biden have found that arguments about Trump’s personal aggrievement and determination to get revenge are among the most persuasive ones they can make to voters.

The Biden campaign’s communications director, Michael Tyler, described Trump on Monday as someone “who will do anything and harm anyone if it means more power and vengeance for Donald Trump.”

“That’s why he was convicted, that’s why he encouraged a violent mob to storm the Capitol on January 6, and it’s why his entire campaign is an exercise in revenge and retribution,” Tyler said in a statement.

The Biden campaign has already spent nearly $67 million on advertising through June 16, including $53 million this year, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact. The scale of advertising spending has been accelerating in recent weeks, rising from about $2.2 million in spending in the week that began April 30 to $5.3 million in the week that began June 4.

Biden and Trump plan to hold the first of two scheduled debates in Atlanta on June 27 to be broadcast on CNN. Unlike recent presidential candidate meetings, there will be no studio audience for the debate and microphones will muted throughout the debate, except when it is time for an individual candidate to speak. Those conditions were requested by the Biden campaign, and agreed to by the Trump campaign.

Monday’s announcement indicates that the pace of spending will continue to accelerate through the end of June. AdImpact records indicate that only $12.4 million has been spent through June 16, well short of the $50 million target for the month that the Biden campaign announced Monday.

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