President Trump’s campaign is airing a new digital advertisement casting Democratic nominee Joe Biden as a politician in cognitive decline and unable to handle the rigors of the White House.
The spot was launched this week to coincide with the Democratic convention and is running on the YouTube masthead during the internet platform’s broadcast of the virtual coronation of Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Trump, 74, regularly questions the former vice president’s mental acuity, claiming the 77-year-old is ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of running the government. But now, the president’s campaign is incorporating the attack into its official messaging.
“Did something happen to Joe Biden?” flashes across the screen as the advertisement opens. The spot then proceeds to contrast video of a vigorous, energetic, and articulate Biden speaking in 2015 and 2016 with short clips of the Democratic nominee speaking this year, in which he appears confused and struggles to form sentences.
The Trump campaign is unapologetic about the attack.
“It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, but voters deserve to be able to assess Joe Biden’s capabilities by seeing him and listening to him in his own words, especially as compared to just a few years ago,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “Being president of the most powerful nation in the world carries the heavy responsibilities of navigating dangerous situations around the globe in real time and keeping track of weighty domestic issues.”
Trump trails Biden nationally and in key battleground states, according to public opinion polls. Some Republicans are critical of the president’s strategy for blunting Biden’s momentum, worrying inconsistent messaging is diluting the potential effectiveness of any specific attack.
However, other GOP operatives say this latest approach, calling attention to Biden’s mental capacity, is where the Trump campaign should keep its focus. The Biden campaign, pointing to Republican-sponsored research suggesting the message would fall flat and alluding to rumors about the president’s own lack of mental sharpness, said Trump is simply trying to distract voters from his failure to manage the coronavirus.
“Donald Trump is spectacularly failing every conceivable strategic test by ramping up mentions of this subject at all,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “Joe Biden sounded the alarm about the outbreak early, whereas Donald Trump is still promising us the virus will magically ‘disappear.’”
Author: David M. Drucker
Source: Washington Examiner: Trump campaign questions Biden’s mental acuity in tough new digital ad