Biden campaign releases new ad focused on Trump’s conviction

Gun Rights

With 10 days to go before the candidates for president face off in the first debate, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign launched a new $50 million ad campaign on Monday with a spot that focuses on former President Donald Trump’s conviction last month on 34 felony counts.

Titled “Character Matters,” the ad refers to Trump as “a convicted criminal who’s only out for himself,”  comparing him to Biden, a “president who is fighting for your family.” 

A screen capture from the new Biden campaign ad “Character Matters.”

Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement that Trump “will do absolutely anything for his own personal gain and for his own power,” adding “His entire campaign is an exercise in revenge and retribution.”

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After his conviction on 34 felony counts in New York, Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, days before the Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee. The new Biden campaign ad, which will run on general market television in battleground states and on national cable is the first time the Biden campaign is taking direct aim at Trump’s conviction.

A pro-Trump super PAC ran an ad campaign in Pennsylvania in April critical of the Biden administration’s immigration policies. The ad ran the same week Biden visited Pennsylvania, campaigning in Scranton, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, ahead of the state’s April 23 primary.

A Trump campaign spokesperson on Monday repeated several of Trump’s complaints about the trial, and said Biden and Democrats “weaponized the justice system” against him.

“This new ad once again proves the sham trial was always meant to be election interference, but Americans see through it,” Karoline Leavitt, Trump campaign’s national press secretary, said in a statement Monday. “Despite Biden’s failing campaign spending nearly $70 million on media buys, President Trump continues to crush Joe Biden in the polls, leading in every key battleground state and winning independents by double digits.”

Trump has said repeatedly that he believed the trial was politically motivated. He has said he would appeal the verdict.
Polls in Pennsylvania have shown Trump has a slight lead over Biden in the contest for the state’s 19 electoral votes. A June 12 Marist poll showed Trump leading Biden by 2 points in Pennsylvania. Trump has complained repeatedly that the trial was politically motivated

The visit will be Trump’s fourth to Pennsylvania in 2024 and his second to Philadelphia this year. He spoke in February to a National Rifle Association gathering in Harrisburg, and announced a new line of Trump-branded sneakers in Philadelphia at SneakerCon that same month. Trump held a rally in the Lehigh Valley in April, his most recent visit to Pennsylvania.

Biden has made eight appearances in Pennsylvania so far this year, visiting Philadelphia with Vice President Kamala in late May to announce the launch of Black Voters for Biden-Harris at Girard College. The majority of Biden’s visits to Pennsylvania have been in the southeastern part of the state, a heavily Democratic region. 

In the 2020 election, Biden beat Trump in Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes.

This article was updated at 9 a.m. June 17, 2024 with comment from the Trump campaign.

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