Campaign

Exclusive first look: Trump attacks Flake in new Ward campaign ad

Greg Nash

President Trump is featured heavily in the new campaign ad for former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is seeking to oust incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake in the GOP primary in Arizona next year.

The Ward campaign has cut Trump’s remarks about Flake from a rally in Phoenix earlier this week into a 45-second spot called “Naming Jeff Flake.” 

At that rally, Trump mused about how his aides had asked him not to attack Flake at the rally in his home state. Instead, Trump swiped at Flake without saying his name.

{mosads}“Please Mr. President, don’t mention any names,” Trump says in the ad, with chants of “drain the swamp” echoing behind him. “Nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who is weak on borders, weak on crimes, so I won’t talk about him.”

That’s when the ad cuts to Ward.

“The president doesn’t need to name names because I will. Jeff Flake is weak and he’s failed us in the Senate,” Ward says.

The ad also shows Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the floor of the Senate in late July voting against the GOP’s “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill, which failed 49-51.

“One vote away from victory after seven years,” Trump says.

“One vote from an Arizona senator would have repealed ObamaCare,” Ward, who attempted to unseat McCain in the 2016 GOP primary, adds. “We can’t let that happen again.”

The ad, viewed first by The Hill, will start as a five-figure digital buy, but the campaign is considering a few national cable spots next week.

Trump has not officially endorsed Ward, but he has tweeted support for her effort to take out Flake. Two other pro-Trump candidates — Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham and state Treasurer Jeff DeWit — could still get in the race.

But Ward has had early success rallying Trump’s supporters to her cause.

Conservative mega-donor Robert Mercer invested $300,000 in a pro-Ward outside group, and two Republican advisers to a different pro-Trump outside group have joined the Ward campaign and helped put this ad together.

Also this week, key figures in national conservative media got behind Ward, including Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.

Flake has been touring to promote his new book, “Conscience of a Conservative,” which argues that Republicans need to take the party back from Trump.

He will have the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, setting up an establishment vs. Trump primary fight.

Tags Jeff Flake John McCain Mitch McConnell

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