Joe Biden’s first campaign ad of the 2020 cycle takes aim at the issue of electability, arguing it is vital Democrats nominate someone who can beat President Donald Trump.
Biden, who has been struggling to stabilize his campaign amid a recent string of high-profile gaffes, released a 60-second ad targeted at voters in Iowa on Tuesday. Instead of focusing the candidate’s personal story or specific policy proposals, like other ads already running in Iowa, Biden’s explicitly focuses on which candidate is best positioned to win back the White House.
“We know in our bones this election is different, the stakes are higher, the threat more serious, we have to beat Donald Trump,” the ad’s narrator states over images of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We have to beat Donald Trump, and all the polls agree that Joe Biden is the strongest Democrat to do the job.”
The ad proceeds to cite several accomplishments of the Obama-Biden administration, including passing the Affordable Care Act, before claiming the only way to “restore” America’s soul was by booting the “erratic, vicious, bullying president” currently occupying the Oval Office.
“Now, Joe Biden is running for president with a plan for America’s future,” the ad states. “To make a record investment in America’s schools, to lead the world on climate, to rebuild our alliances, and most of all, he’ll restore the soul of a nation battered by an erratic, vicious, bullying president.”
According to The Des Moines Register, the ad will run across Iowa’s media markets for the next three weeks. The ad buy, which cost more than $497,000, comes as Biden’s standing in Iowa has slipped in recent weeks.
Initially seen as a frontrunner, Biden has been waylaid by more progressive challengers like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT). Adding to the former vice president’s problems is that a series of high profile gaffes have reignited existing doubts from the left over Biden’s capabilities and fitness for the presidency.
In response, Biden’s team has attempted to dismiss such concerns outright, claiming the most important factor is who polling says can beat Trump. The candidate’s own wife, Dr. Jill Biden, made that argument while speaking to voters in New Hampshire on Monday.
“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election,” Jill Biden said. “And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I sorta personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”