- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2020

Joseph R. Biden launched a multistate ad blitz Thursday, marking the Democratic presidential candidate’s first major ad campaign of the general election and sending a strong signal about where he thinks the 2020 race will be won or lost.

The $15 million television, digital, radio and print campaign targets voters in traditional Democratic strongholds like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as people in North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.

Mr. Trump carried all six states over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“We’re playing offense,” Patrick Bonsignore, Mr. Biden’s director of paid media, said in a memo, according to The New York Times.

The Biden campaign announced this week that the joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee has pulled in over $80 million in May — their biggest monthly haul of 2020.

Mr. Trump and his joint operation with the Republican National Committee have spent over $20 million on advertising in those same states since the beginning of the year, according to a breakdown from Advertising Analytics that shows a surge in broadcast spending in May and June.

Despite the advertising head start, the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls show Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by 8% in Michigan, 5% in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and 4% in Arizona and Florida.

North Carolina is a statistical dead heat.

The first ad Mr. Biden released Thursday — called “United Us” — features audio and video clips from an address he recently delivered in response to the protests and riots that erupted out of George Floyd’s death.

The spot doesn’t mention Mr. Trump by name, but it does include footage of Mr. Trump posing for a photo-op with a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, as well as footage of the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville.

“I promise you this, I will not traffic in fear and division, I won’t fan the flames of hate, I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country — not use them for political gain,” Mr. Bdien says in the ad.

The spot features clips of protestors carrying Black Lives Matter signs and Mr. Biden wearing a mask in public — something Mr. Trump has refused to do in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The other English-language ad focuses on middle-class workers and his pledge to work for all Americans.

“That is what the presidency is: the duty to care, to care for all of us, not just those who vote for us, but all of us,” he says. “This job is not about me, it is about you, it is about us.”

Mr. Biden says the essential workers on the frontlines of the nation’s response to the coronavirus must be paid more.

The Spanish-language ad set to run in Arizona and Florida casts Mr. Trump as being out of touch with the pain and suffering of the Latino community and seeks to draw a contrast with the president’s response to the coronavirus and the leadership Mr. Biden has shown when facing challenges over his career.

The campaign also is slated to start making a six-figure investment Friday focused on black print and radio outlets. The effort is in recognition of Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S.

The Trump campaign called out Mr. Biden for not engaging more with the press and accused the former vice president of “hiding behind dishonest TV ads and misrepresenting his real record.”

“All the money in the world can’t hide the damage Biden’s hateful and racist remarks have done to Black Americans and blue-collar workers,” the campaign said in a statement. “Nor can they explain away why Biden spent decades befriending segregationists, urging more incarceration for Black Americans, and supporting trade deals that exported jobs to China and screwed over America’s workers.”

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