Trump and Biden campaigns exchange attack ads in escalation of 2020 election

Donald Trump's coronavirus response pitted against Joe Biden's record on China

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 07 May 2020 22:16
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Joe Biden shares attack ad against Trump

Joe Biden fired off an attack ad against Donald Trump as the two campaigns traded barbs on Thursday in an escalation of the 2020 election season.

With Mr Trump's re-election team expected to unleash a $10m negative advertising blitz, Mr Biden's team put out a video of its own attacking the president's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ad invoked Abraham Lincoln quotes contrasted with news clips of Mr Trump supporting Michigan lockdown protestors against images of coronavirus victims.

"More than 70,000 deaths. Over 1 million coronavirus cases. Over 33 million unemployment claims. Real presidents lead. Reality TV presidents don't," the ad says.

Mr Biden tweeted out the video after the Trump campaign spent the morning teasing its juggernaut "Death Star" campaign to be deployed across data, digital, TV, political surrogates and coalitions.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said on Twitter they would start "pressing FIRE for the first time" in the next few days, followed by video attacking Mr Biden's record on China.

"During America's crisis, Biden protected China's feelings. Or perhaps China's investments. Biden Stands up for China. While China tries to cripple America," the ad said.

Trump has personally approved the campaign, according to people familiar with the decision who spoke anonymously to Politico.

The outlet reported that Republicans have been polling lines of attack against Mr Biden, which will include his relationship with China, his son's dealings in Ukraine, the 2009 financial crisis, and his mental capacity.

"If the Trump campaign wants this to be a contrast election, they need to get about it," Karl Rove, the architect of George W Bush's campaigns, told Politico. "They must begin to lay out the lines of attack against Biden. Their effort needs to be focused, disciplined, phased, and with resources to help the messages breakthrough."

In the battle of negative ads, the Biden-tweeted attack on Mr Trump's coronavirus response had more than 500,000 views, almost 20,000 retweets and 50,000 likes.

The Trump campaign ad attacking Mr Biden's record on China, tweeted by campaign manager Mr Parscale (across two tweets) had about 280,000 views, 7,000 retweets and 14,000 likes.

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