Biden campaign unveils biggest ad purchase of 2020 cycle

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenProsecutor investigating whether Tara Reade gave false testimony as expert witness Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally George Floyd's sister says Minneapolis officers should be charged with murder MORE’s presidential campaign is launching its biggest ad buy of the 2020 cycle, unleashing a $12 million blitz in key states that will hold their primaries on March 10 and 17.

The two ads, first reported by The Associated Press and confirmed by several Biden officials, will be featured on digital platforms and television markets across Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi, which hold primaries on March 10, and Florida, Illinois and Ohio, where voters head to the polls on March 17. The former vice president will appear in all six states in person before March 17 to gin up support. 

“Always,” one of the two new ads, rebukes Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives raise alarm over letting lobbying groups access PPP funds Loeffler runs ad tying Doug Collins to Pelosi, Sanders, Biden Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE’s (I-Vt.) criticism of Biden’s record on Social Security, saying the former vice president has always defended the program and that negative attacks will only bolster President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE come November.

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“PolitiFact has called the Sanders campaign’s attacks ‘False.’ Joe Biden has always been a strong supporter of Social Security. Biden will increase Social Security benefits and protect it for generations to come,” says a male narrator. “Negative ads will only help Donald Trump. It’s time we bring our party together.” 

The first ad comes in response to ramped up attacks from Sanders following Biden’s nearly 30-point landslide in the South Carolina primary and surprise victories in 10 of 14 Super Tuesday states. Sanders has focused much of his fire on Biden’s past support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and record Social Security, two issues he hopes will help dent Biden’s support among white blue-collar voters. 

Biden has warned that the primary battle, which has narrowed to just him and Sanders, could turn negative, urging the Vermont lawmaker to avoid a “bloodbath.” 

“What we can't let happen is let this primary become a negative bloodbath,” Biden said at a Maryland fundraiser Friday. “But Bernie is going to throw — he'll at least throw the dishwasher at me.”

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“Service,” the second of the two new spots, underscores Biden’s time as President Obama’s vice president and features Obama calling him the “finest vice president we have ever seen” during his awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Obama remains widely popular across the Democratic Party — a point proved when Sanders also released ads featuring him and the former president. 

The new ad blitz comes in a critical stretch of the primary contest, with Biden hoping to expand what is expected to be a narrow delegate lead after all the Super Tuesday ballots are tallied and Sanders eager to make up ground after the former vice president’s unexpectedly strong showing. 

Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, the three March 10 states targeted by Biden, will allocate a combined 229 pledged delegates, while Florida, Illinois and Ohio will together apportion a whopping 510 delegates.