American Future Fund Political Action, a GOP supporting group, is airing this new ad in the Florida panhandle in a bid to damage Trump’s support there. The ad contains a series of statements Trump has made at rallies around the country and places those behind a lectern inside a simulated White House press room:
American Future Fund Political Action’s spokesman Stuart Roy tells Politico, “Donald Trump’s repeated public reliance on profanities and vulgarities to express himself is one more piece in an ever-mounting pile of evidence that he does not have the temperament or moral integrity to lead the world’s greatest nation.”
Trump himself has repeatedly complained about vulgar language used by former President of Mexico Vicente Fox and suggested it ought to get as much attention as his own:
FMR PRES of Mexico, Vicente Fox horribly used the F word when discussing the wall. He must apologize! If I did that there would be a uproar!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2016
The ad is just one part of a broader anti-Trump blitz designed to prevent Trump from closing the deal for the GOP nomination on March 15th. The Club for Growth plans to spend $2 million on anti-Trump ads in Illinois. The Hill reports where some of the anti-Trump money is coming from:
Republican mega-donors such as New York hedge fund magnate Paul Singer and the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, are major players in the last-ditch GOP effort to stop Trump from becoming the party’s nominee.
This ad was always coming, either now or later in the general election. If Trump can’t stand up to these attacks now then it’s hard to see how he would be able to stand up to them any better later on when there is more money and more coordinated media behind them, i.e. an army of Clinton surrogates and friendly media making the same argument on every news channel.
The real problem is that Trump’s manner of speaking is a big part of his appeal. Not to say his supporters are eager to hear vulgarity but they do like his brash, take-no-prisoners style. They like that he doesn’t self-censor or tap dance around politically correct issues they way other politicians do. So it’s unlikely this clip will turn off any of Trump’s die hard supporters but it could have an impact on undecided and late-breaking voters who are less certain this sort of thing is appropriate for a presidential candidate.
Trump seemed to be making some genuine efforts to moderate his tone (and his policies) during last week’s GOP debate, though those efforts sometimes were overshadowed by his hot temper. It remains to be seen if he will continue that effort as he gets closer to clinching the nomination and, if he does, whether the same enthusiasm will be there for the more mild-mannered Trump 2.0.