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Biden's Campaign Announces a $50 Million Advertising Blitz Highlighting Trump's Conviction
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
June 17, 2024

"Character Matters" ad highlights Trump's felony convictions, setting tone for election debate. (AP/Alex Brandon)

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President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is spending $50 million through the end of June, a blitz that includes its first television ad trumpeting Donald Trump’s felony conviction and signals that the Democratic incumbent is seeking to make his Republican opponent’s legal woes a bigger issue heading into November.

The advertising push comes with Election Day still months away. But Biden’s campaign says it wants to more clearly define the choice between the candidates ahead of the first debate between them in Atlanta on June 27.

The ad campaign includes more than $1 million geared toward media reaching Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters and a spot highlighting Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts in a New York hush money case. It will air on general market television and connected TV on streaming devices and cellphones in battleground states as well as on national cable.

Character Matters: A Closer Look at Trump’s Legal Woes

Besides Trump’s criminal conviction, the ad, titled “Character Matters,” notes the former president also was found liable for sexual assault and financial fraud in separate proceedings. Trump also faces felony charges in three other criminal cases, none of which may go to trial before the November election.

“In the courtroom, we see Donald Trump for who he is,” intones the ad’s narrator. It adds over images of a Trump mug shot and Biden high-fiving supporters, “This election is between a convicted criminal who’s only out for himself and a president who’s fighting for your family.”

Biden also has frequently talked about Trump’s 34 felony convictions while decrying the former president for claiming that the case against him was politically motivated. Biden argues that “it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict.”

Biden’s son Hunter last week was convicted in Delaware of three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, when, prosecutors argued, he lied on a mandatory gun purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs. The president has said he would accept the outcome of the case and “continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

Trump’s Legal Problems: A Central Part of Biden’s Reelection Strategy

A central part of Biden’s reelection strategy is also highlighting Trump’s policy proposals for a second term and firing up disaffected Democrats and independent voters. Still, the campaign producing an ad that leans heavily into Trump’s conviction and including it in such a large advertising buy indicates a renewed effort to make Trump’s legal problems an election issue in ways Biden’s team previously resisted.

“It’s a stark contrast, and it’s one that matters deeply to the American people,” Biden campaign spokesperson Michael Tyler said in a statement. “And it’s why we will make sure that every single day we are reminding voters about how Joe Biden is fighting for them, while Donald Trump runs a campaign focused on one man and one man only: himself.”

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has argued, without evidence, that Biden or Justice Department officials orchestrated the New York case against him for political reasons. He and his allies also have raised the prospect of prosecuting political opponents in revenge if he returns to the White House.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said that the Biden administration had “weaponized the justice system against President Trump” and that the contrast between her candidate and Biden “will be very clear on the debate stage.”

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