Biden campaign launches digital ad in swing states using speech on civil unrest

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Joe Biden’s campaign is launching a digital ad in key swing states that features the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s speech on civil unrest and protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The minute-long ad, titled “Build The Future,” overlays footage of Biden’s speech with video and pictures from protests across the country. It also includes clips from the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one counterprotester dead.

“The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us, leadership that brings us together,” Biden says in the ad. “I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain.”

A Biden campaign official confirmed to The Hill that the clip will run on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and will target younger and more diverse voters. A version of the ad will also run with Spanish language captions.

The ad is the latest attempt by Biden’s campaign to draw a contrast with President Trump over his handling of the protests. The demonstrations were sparked when a video went viral showing Floyd, an unarmed black man, being pinned to the ground by his neck by a white police officer in Minneapolis and saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd died during the arrest.

Trump has said he’s an “ally of peaceful protesters” but has drawn scrutiny for threatening to activate the U.S. military to quell demonstrations. Tensions were heightened Monday when law enforcement cleared peaceful demonstrators outside the White House so the president could take pictures at a nearby church.

“I’ll do my job and I’ll take responsibility, I won’t blame others. I promise you, this job isn’t about me, it’s about you, it’s about us. To build a better future, that’s what America does,” Biden says in the ad over pictures and video of the former vice president meeting with African American community leaders and protesters. 

The protests have led Biden to break his months-long, self-imposed quarantine and travel to the sites of protests in Delaware and make his speech this week in Philadelphia, where he also met with local officials.

Biden has long cast Trump’s rhetoric on race as one of the key reasons he launched his presidential campaign, often citing the president’s remarks on the 2017 Charlottesville rally as the spark that led him into the contest.

The digital ad is the fourth Biden’s campaign has launched in swing states, but the first to deal with a topic other than the coronavirus.

“These paid media programs continue to indicate the start of early investments we are making in the pivotal states that will play a decisive role in the election, and the campaign intends to ramp up our paid media efforts in these battlegrounds in the coming months,” a Biden campaign official said.

Tags 2020 presidential campaign charlottesville rally civil unrest Donald Trump George Floyd protests Joe Biden

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