This is his second TV spot of the general election campaign but it’s backed by bigger bucks than the first one, on immigration, was. That ad received an initial buy of $4.8 million to air in four key battleground states. This one’s getting $10 million to air in nine battlegrounds, the big three of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania plus North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Virginia, and Colorado. Why Team Trump is wasting money on those last two states, I’m not sure: They’re all but goners and he doesn’t need them to win on his most probable electoral path to 270. Oh well.
This spot is oddly generic. It’s slick, but it would work just as well for any other Republican nominee of the past 30 years. The immigration ad was distinctively Trumpy with references to a rigged system, Syrian refugees flooding in, and so forth. This one borrows the “two Americas” theme used by left-wing class warrior John Edwards in 2008 but ends up being bland Republican boilerplate about cutting taxes and bringing back jobs without emphasizing how Trump’s economic approach differs from his predecessors. He should be all-in on protectionism — scrapping bad trade deals, imposing tariffs in hopes of repatriating jobs, and keeping illegal foreign labor on the other side of the Mexican border. The fact that he’s spooning out the usual Republican oatmeal makes me think he’s worried that his economic approach, which his blue-collar fans love so much, is hurting him with the white college grads and suburbanites he needs to win back from Hillary in order to have a fighting chance this fall. That’s something to watch for in the coming weeks: His slide towards amnesty has gotten all sorts of press but is he “moderating” on protectionism too? You would think, with Kellyanne Conway and other Trumpers talking about the “silent majority” of disaffected Trump fans out there, that he’d want to double down on how he’s going to protect middle- and lower-class jobs to get those people motivated to vote. Maybe Trump has come around to the idea it’s traditional Republican voters or bust if he wants to win. That seems like a better bet than, ahem, “undercover Trump voters” are.
Speaking of basic economic pitches, Byron York asks a great question. Why isn’t Trump hammering Clinton over ObamaCare with new reports trickling out every day about insurers fleeing the exchanges? If he’s looking to bring traditional Republicans back into his fold, that’s an easy pander. And yet, here’s what he was screwing around with on Twitter this morning:
Why focus on an Obama-created disaster in the making for American health care when you can call Hillary a dummy?
Here’s the ad, followed by a waste of money by anti-Trump Republicans who are running an ad of their own in swing states.