Former Vice President Joe Biden is using President Donald Trump’s own words in a new ad arguing he is the best candidate to beat Trump, released ahead of the Democratic debate in Iowa Tuesday.
The ad, obtained first by CNN, features a montage of Trump saying Biden’s name, followed by a narrator declaring, “Donald Trump has made it clear he’s got Joe Biden on his mind because Trump knows Biden will beat him in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — the states we need to take back the presidency.”
The ad comes as Biden stays focused on the campaign trail as the quarrel between his progressive rivals, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, is heating up. Warren and Sanders’ long-held truce on the campaign trail broke in the last few days after a report indicating Sanders’ surrogates were preparing talking points to attack Warren in calls to prospective Iowa caucus goers. The fight between the candidates escalated on Monday when Warren said Sanders “disagreed” with her that a woman could beat Trump. CNN had first reported the detail from the conversation earlier in the day.
The ad, and its timing, is an attempt from Biden’s campaign to portray himself as a candidate above the fray. The ad also comes as Sanders has been teeing up more aggressive contrasts with the former vice president, blasting him for his Iraq war vote and record on social security.
The ad also gets at Biden’s core message in his campaign — that he is the Democrat best positioned to beat Trump in November. Electability and winning in the general election have been a central component of Biden’s campaign during the primary.
“Number one, whoever we pick has to have really good chance of being able to beat Donald Trump, and you guys have to decide who is best equipped and most likely to beat him,” Biden told voters in Anamosa, Iowa, in early January. “Not just based on what the polling says today, who is candidate who can stand up and is the antithesis of who Donald Trump is. I think I am, but that’s for you to decide.”
The ad is part of the $4 million investment the campaign has made in the first-in-the-nation caucus state between November and caucus day. The ad will air on TV for one day and will continue to air on Hulu and YouTube thereafter, accompanied by a video testimonial from an Iowa resident.