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Biden rolls out swing state ads looking to knock Trump on the economy

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE is rolling out a slate of ads in swing states featuring small-business owners in the hopes of hitting President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE on one of his strongest issues — the economy.

The former vice president’s campaign announced Wednesday morning it is launching TV and digital ads in Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, three key battlegrounds, highlighting struggles businesses have faced since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s so frustrating that big corporations got millions in PPP before small businesses like ours. The president we have is not caring about the little people, but that’s what Donald Trump is, he’s all about himself,” Dina, a salon co-owner in Phoenix, says in one ad, referring to Paycheck Protection Program funds that were distributed under the CARES Act. “We got to help small businesses like ours to get through this crisis. And I trust Joe Biden to do that for us.” 

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“COVID has affected my business in such a large way. To not be able to work for over three months, I lost eight employees. They had no other choice. It was heartbreaking for me,” adds Anthony, the owner of a hair salon in Pittsburgh. “Trump does not see me. I don’t understand how he can look himself in the eye.” 

The new slate of ads mark Biden’s latest effort to eat away at Trump’s narrowing polling lead on the economy, one of the last issues on which voters say they trust the president more than the former vice president.

The videos’ message is part of Biden’s broader strategy to highlight the health and economic fallout from the coronavirus as polls show voters broadly disapprove of the White House’s handling of the pandemic. 

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Trump and Biden tied among likely voters when asked about who would better handle the economy, a dip from other polls showing the president slightly ahead. But Trump trails by 16 points over who would respond better to the coronavirus.

Biden’s argument that he could better handle the pandemic, and by extension its aftereffects, was given a boost when Washington Post veteran Bob Woodward released tapes earlier this month of a conversation with Trump in February in which the president discussed the severity of the coronavirus. At the same time as the interview took place, Trump was downplaying the danger of the pandemic in public, comparing it to the common flu. 

The latest ads are part of the former vice president’s broader strategy to blanket the airwaves as Trump’s campaign cuts back in certain states in the final sprint to Election Day in an attempt to rejigger its finances. The Biden campaign said in a press release that it is currently on television airwaves and digital platforms in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Nebraska and Minnesota.