Anti-Trump ads from Biden, GOP group hit the air in Pa., other 2020 battleground states

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden would like to win Pennsylvania in 2020 (Capital-Star file)

With Pennsylvania’s primary election now less than a month away, former Vice President Joe Biden is going on the attack in the Keystone State with a new ad accusing President Donald Trump of being asleep at the switch as the coronavirus ravaged the country, and with it, the national economy.

The new digital spot, released Monday, will run on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, 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, the Capital-Star’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:

Trump is slated to visit Pennsylvania on Thursday, making his first trip to the bellwether Lehigh Valley, to tour a medical equipment company in suburban Allentown, the Morning Call of Allentown reported on Tuesday.

Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, was set to hold a virtual event in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the insider site PoliticsPA reported.

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press