Democratic super PACs intensifying attack on Trump
Ø Now that traditional campaigning has been abandoned, Democratic Party's super PACs groups are intensifying their attacks on President Donald Trump.
Ø These groups are primarily targeting Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which as per the experts will be the defining issue of the 2020 election.
Ø Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC led by a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, has come up with a $6 million campaign focusing on how Trump downplayed the threat posed by the outbreak for weeks. One of campaign’s ad features audio clips of Trump claiming the outbreak as “hoax” while his administration touting the situation “totally under control.”
Ø Another Democratic super PAC, American Bridge, is running Facebook ads focusing on Trump’s word on the crisis, and arguing that he can’t "be trusted with our economy, our health and our future."
Ø Unite the Country is also running a massive campaign, which includes a 30-second commercial called "Crisis Comes." The ad claims that Trump "let the virus spread unchecked across America."
Ø Pacronym group is spending $2.5 million through April on the coronavirus-related ads.
Ø On Wednesday, President Trump's reelection campaign has sent cease and desist letters to local news outlets. The letter threatens the new outlets with legal action if they don’t stop airing the Priorities USA ad, which shows that Trump called the coronavirus a "hoax."
Ø This increased spending from the PACs has also triggered debates if doing this is right at a time when Americans are facing the biggest public health emergency.
Shift Into Gear
Democrats are not on the run. The polling numbers are still typical of the national political divide, with Republicans still supporting the President at a whopping 91% according to a poll conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute. His numbers have slightly climbed since last month, however, they are more indicative of a publicity battle, with Democrats falling behind in an effort to show more bipartisan solidarity during a time of crisis. The number of Democrats who approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis has doubled over the past week.
The question is whether it will be enough to push him over the top in November. So much will still happen between now and then, with the crisis still not abated, and the economy still in a state of uncertainty. Democratic super PACs are still right to run ads at the President’s lax handling of the crisis over the last few months, as it is right on the facts. There is still no real end in sight to the crisis so far, and for there to be so, there needs to be unity, requiring true bipartisan effort.
For that to take place, many are willing to lay aside their biases and work for the common good, which means supporting the President when he is right, regardless of differences. But this does not mean the past errors of the opposing party should be set aside; we have every reason to require quick and decisive leadership during such a time. Only those that forget their history are bound to repeat it, and this current administration loathes admitting any mishandling or mistakes. Time will tell whether this hubris will place them on the right or wrong side of history.
If the Democrats want to once again look like a group of complete partisans—again—they have the right to. In the United States of America we have the right to criticize our leaders as much as we want to without fear of retaliation by the government. However, just because we don’t have to worry about the government coming after us, that does not mean there won’t be a price to pay.
The Democrat’s latest political stunt has been a series of ads harshly criticizing President Trump for his reaction to the Coronavirus epidemic. All together, several Democratic super PACs are looking to spend nearly $9 million in television and digital ads to push their message. In being so harshly critical of the President while still in the fog of war, if you will, the Democrats will only harm themselves.
According to a recently released Gallup poll, sixty percent of Americans say they approve of how President Trump is handling the Coronavirus outbreak. Sixty percent! This is remarkable considering that Trump has yet to cross the fifty percent approval rating threshold, and the media has done almost nothing but rip into the administration’s handling of the crisis. How do you think the American people are going to respond to nothing but negative TV ads when they believe that Trump is doing the right thing?
More importantly, the American people want to see unity in the face of this disaster. There will be plenty of time for reviews, criticisms, and assessments of the job the Trump Administration is doing, can we save it for then. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Let’s save the TV ads and the like for when we can see the complete picture.
That’s not to say we can’t, or even shouldn’t, critique the job of the president. In fact, that’s the job of the media: to keep the politicians honest. But there is a point—especially in the face of global crisis—where enough is enough. Let’s put aside political bickering and get to work.
Democrats are right to be anxious
Putting aside my personal bias for a second, I sincerely believe attacking President Trump would be a terrible move for Democrats to make, given the current circumstances. According to Gallup, 60% of Americans approve of the President’s handling of the Chinese Virus. The fact is that Americans are comforted by the government taking drastic action during this
By taking cheap shots at the President with these ads, Democrats are widening the divide and sowing confusion among Americans, which is counter-productive and makes them seem petty and selfishly motivated. This only exacerbates the PR nightmare Nancy Pelosi caused Democrats over the weekend by obstructing the passage of a relief bill. Democrats are practically handing Trump scripts for campaign ads this week.
On the other hand, it makes sense why Democrats want to push the offensive against the President. With his latest series of gaffes, Joe Biden certainly isn’t holding the line. For instance, on the View earlier this week he claimed, for some reason, “we have to take care of the cure, that will make the problem worse no matter what,” which makes zero sense. With the Wuhan Virus ending campaign events, this is all that keeps Biden in the headlines, which is enough to make Democrats uncomfortable, especially as Trump’s approval soars. It’s sensible to conclude that the best way forward is to shift the negative focus away from their candidate. Or is it?
If you ask me, it’s not. Politically motivated attacks against our standing President are simply not what Americans want to see. To most people, bipartisanship is more important than the 2020 election. There are millions of lives and millions of jobs at stake, and what happens in Washington in the next few weeks could mean life or death, paycheck or no paycheck. Democrats could do much better for themselves by putting aside politics for now and focusing their efforts on being the leaders America needs them to be. And it should be noted that I apply the same standard for Republicans, and anyone trying to take advantage of America’s suffering to push an agenda.
While I do understand why you think these ad attacks are “cheap shots” or even stand to “divide and sow confusion among Americans,” I think that seizing the opportunity to launch a counterattack during this time is not so much a political faux pas. It’s the joie de vivre of politics.
Neither Biden nor Sanders has been airing ads since last Tuesday. As we know, partisan strings are pulled not just by individual campaigns, but by mega donors, super PACs, and special interests as well. The sudden standstill of campaigning as usual in 2020 has left Democrats in a new bind: how do we leverage this moment in time as an opportunity to gain and bolster support?
Campaign rallies are a no. Fund-raisers are called off. In-person canvassing is no longer happening. What is everyone doing these days? Staying indoors. This gives the sitting president plenty of airtime, and even more people are watching. From a strategist’s perspective, the only way to mitigate this would indeed be by launching massive ad attacks that stand to reach all Americans at home.
But have you seen the ad that features Tucker Carlson? The Trump comrade and Fox News host has pointed his finger for the lack of preparedness for this pandemic to “government incompetence.” This snippet from a recent TC monologue is valuable for Democrats.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign hasn’t hit the breaks either. Though campaign emails have slowed down a bit, the messaging remains the same—buy a hat, buy Trump Luck of the Irish Whiskey Glasses. Buy a “gold card” membership. Last Wednesday an email from his campaign touted “record-low” unemployment, while today we have 3 million Americans who have filed for unemployment.
What’s important about campaigns that are being run almost entirely on digital platforms? That they aren’t tone deaf. So you tell me, is there much different between Democrats seizing the opportunity or that the president’s campaign is playing ads that don’t mention the coronavirus, and is urging people to make purchases? You can’t blame the players from playing the game. A crisis is an opportunity.