Trump campaign to fly banner ahead of Democratic debate knocking 'socialist' policies

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s reelection campaign will fly banners over Westerville, Ohio, ahead of Tuesday night's presidential primary debate in the city knocking Democrats for “socialist” policies.

“This week's debate will be another display of the 2020 Democrats' far-left lurch toward big government socialism,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, said in a statement.


“While Democrats will use the debate stage to paint a glamorous view of their socialist agenda, Team Trump is here to expose the truth behind their job-killing policies and remind Ohioans what's at stake in 2020."

The 105-foot-long banners, which will fly across the city from 12-3 p.m. and from 3:45-6:45 p.m., will read “SOCIALISM DESTROYS OHIO JOBS. VOTE TRUMP” and “TEXT ‘USA’ TO 88022.”

The Trump campaign flew similar banners over Houston on the day of a Democratic debate there last month.

The campaign also said that it took out a full-page ad in The Columbus Dispatch hammering Democrats for introducing "socialism" that would "kill Ohio jobs." The ad targets Democrats' plans to cut fossil fuel emissions, raise taxes and eliminate private insurance while praising Trump's efforts to create manufacturing jobs and generate record oil and gas production, among other things.

The term "socialism" has emerged as a chief talking point among the GOP who point to progressive policies like “Medicare for All,” the Green New Deal and more as socialist policies that Democrats don't know how to fund. 

“Standing in solidarity with our nation’s seniors, I declare once again that America will never be a socialist country,” Trump said earlier this month at a speech to elderly voters in Florida. “Democratic health care proposals would put everyone in a socialist government program.”

Some of the key differences in the Democratic primary have come from candidates debating the merits of progressive policies versus more moderate ones, with centrist candidates pointing to GOP attacks on “socialism” as evidence that liberal policies could put Democrats at a disadvantage in the messaging wars as the 2020 cycle continues.

Twelve Democrats will take the stage in the Ohio city on Tuesday for the fourth of 12 planned presidential primary debates. The event will mark the largest-ever televised primary debate for either party.

— This report was updated at 10:29