First on CNN: Biden enters GOP primary with $25 million ad blitz, starts with focus on economy


As Republicans face off in their first presidential primary debate, President Joe Biden is preparing to clog up the airwaves in battleground states this month with a $25 million television and digital ad campaign.

First Minute Advertisement, titledStruggled again,” which was first picked up by CNN, which focuses on the economy, marks the campaign’s latest effort to improve voter perceptions of Biden’s handling of the economy. It also made an apparent reference to Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, as Democrats sought to tie GOP candidates to Trump’s “MAGA agenda” in this week’s debate.

“Some say America is failing,” a narrator says as a picture of Trump flashes on the screen. “Not Joe Biden. He believes that our better days are ahead because he believes in the American people.

The ad blitz reflects Biden’s latest attempt to convince skeptical Americans that his policies have led to an economic recovery, even though 51% of Americans think the economy is still in decline or getting worse, according to a recent CNN poll.

In the same poll only 37% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and fewer – 30% – approve of his handling of inflation. The president’s overall approval rating was slightly higher at 41%.

As a result, the ads seek to outline the impact of the president’s legislative accomplishments, including the De-Inflation Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the CHIPS and SCIENCE Act, and the American Recovery Plan. The pandemic initially crippled the economy.

“This is the worst pandemic in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But America has fought back,” says a narrator in one ad. , but he knows that the heroes of this story are the American people.

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“In small towns and big cities. We’re coming back stronger than ever.

The new ad push is part of a plan by Democrats to counter-program the Republican debate, where the Biden campaign hopes the GOP “candidates will fight each other,” according to a memo from the campaign’s communications director.

“No matter who ‘wins’ Wednesday’s debate, all of the MAGA Republican presidential candidates have chosen a losing strategy that is out of touch with the American people,” wrote Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden campaign.

Biden’s ad push, which includes several upcoming ads, will run for 16 weeks on broadcast and cable television in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, officials said.

The campaign is running ads in Hispanic and African-American media in each of these states — as well as targeted buys to reach Hispanic voters in Florida — where they are expected to hold key voting blocks for the court in the run-up to the 2024 election. It represents the largest and earliest buy by a re-election campaign in Hispanic and African American media, a campaign official says, along with the largest overall buy for a re-election at this point in the cycle.

Officials said the campaign hopes to capitalize on the most-watched television events by running ads during the NFL kickoff and World Series. It works to place ads on streaming services like YouTube Reserve, Hulu and Connected TV, and to create short-form content for Instagram and YouTube.

Biden tried to frame his campaign as a war on Republican extremism. His launch video criticized “MAGA extremism” in an attempt to highlight Trump’s grip on the Republican Party. But as GOP hopefuls appeared on stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, Trump planned to skip the debate in favor of an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, sources told CNN.

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Still, the Biden campaign is taking steps to align GOP candidates on the platform with Trump’s “MAGA” agenda, both on the airwaves and on the ground in Wisconsin, campaign officials said.

The Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign, including co-chairman former Rep. Cedric Richmond, will hold a news conference in Milwaukee ahead of the debate as a prelude to the evening’s main event. Richmond will also host events aimed at engaging key coalition groups, including one aimed at black men in Milwaukee and another aimed at female voters in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha.

The DNC will also launch a Milwaukee billboard campaign “contrasting the MAGA agenda with Biden’s record of accomplishments,” a campaign official said. It also includes a billboard truck that drives around the debate venue.

In Washington, the DNC and the Biden campaign will set up a messaging “war room” to provide rapid response throughout the debate.

“As Republicans take to the debate stage next week to show their extreme and out-of-touch positions, we are invested in reaching Americans across the country with President Biden and Vice President Harris’ message for the middle class and for Americans. fundamental freedoms,” Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said in a statement.

“This historic buy ensures that the President’s message gets to all Americans and sends a clear signal that we are investing in a serious, meaningful and effective paid media strategy.”

This article has been updated with new information.

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