WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden is taking to the airwaves to rip into President Trump for his poor response to the coronavirus pandemic and violent reaction to recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Biden’s first television ads of the general election, released Thursday, blast Trump for the two failures that have so far defined the 2020 race — and put the president far behind Biden in recent polls.
The first ad opens with Biden’s acknowledgment that “so many Americans are suffering,” before promising to move away from Trump’s divisive, inflammatory and fury-filled leadership style.
“The country is crying out for leadership,” he says, as the ad shows images of the white supremacist protests at Charlottesville and Trump’s waffling response play followed by images of protestors being tear gassed in front of White House so he could have a photo op just outside its gates.
“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. I’ll do my job and I’ll take responsibility, I won’t blame others,” Biden says in the spot.
The other English-language ad opens with Biden promising to get more money to essential workers, before pivoting to a promise of unity.
“That’s what the presidency is — the duty to care, to care for all of us, not just those who vote for us but all of us. This job is not about me, it’s about you. It’s about us,” he says.
Both English-language ads are built around Biden’s recent speech in Philadelphia, where he slammed Trump for the ongoing chaos and anxiety gripping the nation in the wake of Trump’s aggressive, divisive reaction to ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
Biden’s team is putting $15 million behind the pair of ads. They will air in six states Trump won in 2016 that strategists in both parties agree are the most crucial battlegrounds for 2020: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden has led in recent polling in all six states.
“The ads feature Biden in his own voice. A voice of clarity and moral authority that the country desperately needs,” said Biden Director of Paid Media Patrick Bonsignore.
The Biden campaign also includes a Spanish-language ad that will air in Hispanic-heavy Arizona and Florida. It focuses more heavily on the economic impact of Trump’s coronavirus response, before highlighting Biden’s work with President Obama to turn the economy around after the 2008 collapse. The ad warns that as the bills keep piling up for families and unemployment rates spiked, Trump kept telling false stories that coronavirus would go away without a vaccine.
“Stories don’t pay the bills. This November, count on Joe Biden,” that ad concludes.
Cover: Former Vice President Joe Biden released his first TV ads attacking President Trump. (Photo: Joe Biden for President)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.