Political ad campaigns will be blow for blow from both parties

08 political cartoon

Hyokano (Flickr)

08′ political cartoon

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

Every four years political ad campaigns are bombarded with intense rhetoric from both sides, republican and democrat, intent upon making the other side look bad. 

On April 9, The Trump administration published an attack ad campaign against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, after Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.  The ads suggesting that Biden has personal interests of profiting from relationships with Chinese officials and the video presents selectively edited scenes and statements attempting to portray him as doddering and weak according to a New York Times article.

According to the same article, the strategy used by the Trump administration ad campaigns has generally been  belittling and exploiting racial discord.  But the ads come at an odd time, since as recently as last week, Trump had been complimenting China’s leader, Xi Jinping, describing the two of them as close allies and good friends.

In a statement on Friday, Biden responded.

“The casual racism and regular xenophobia that we have seen from Trump and this Administration is a national scourge,” Biden said, according to the Times article.

“Donald Trump only knows how to speak to people’s fears, not their better angels,” he added.

In addition, the ad contains clips of  Biden with Gary Locke who is not Chinese, but Asian-American.  The images were apparently supposed to illustrate Mr. Biden’s ties to China.  The Times article seemed to indicate that it was selected simply because Hunter Biden accompanied his father on the 2013 trip to China when President Trump accused Hunter of using his father’s official visit to further his own business interests.

“The shot with the flags specifically places Biden in Beijing in 2013,” Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, wrote on Twitter, referring to the picture with Mr. Locke. “It’s for a reason. That’s the Hunter Biden trip. Memory Lane for ol’ Joe.”

In recent weeks, the reports of Asian-Americans being physically attacked and spat on  have pushed many of this demographic into the Democratic Party, where they were once considered a fairly reliable Republican demographic according to the NYT article.

“This should tell the Biden campaign and every other entity trying to beat Trump that we have to rethink the playbook,” said Kelly Gibson, a Democratic media strategist who advised the campaigns of Andrew Yang and Julián Castro. “So if Democrats don’t sink to his level, at least a little, we will be at a sizable disadvantage. You can’t beat fear with logic, it has never worked and it will never work.”

The attack ad campaign that Biden released on his Twitter account on Mar 25, slams President Trump for his response to the coronavirus crisis by placing the president’s comments about the outbreak alongside the rising tally of U.S cases, according to a Business Insider article.

It opens with President Trump’s address on Mar. 11, where he spoke about the “unprecedented” steps the administration had taken to combat the virus.

Before the video launches into a series of interviews that Trump gave since the outbreak first began in January, it asks “How did we get here?” and essentially criticizes the president’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and concludes with “Real crises demand real leadership.”

Biden’s ad does not make the same error as the video posted by Priorities USA Action, a Democratic political action committee, where the video superimposes Trump’s words over a graph that shows reported U.S. coronavirus cases increasing and it seems to stitch together two soundbytes that made it sound like Trump was calling coronavirus a hoax, at a Feb. 28 rally in North Carolina. The Trump campaign called for the ad to be taken down in a cease-and-desist letter to television networks, claiming it was “patently false, misleading, and deceptive.” according to the Business Insider article. 

Instead, Biden’s ad combined the two audio clips, “Now the Democrats are politicizing…” and “this is their new hoax.”

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right?” Trump said. “Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it … They tried the impeachment hoax … and this is their new hoax.”