Remember the 2004 presidential campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry? That campaign produced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in support of President Bush. The PAC exposed John Kerry’s record as a Vietnam veteran. It was very effective, too. There is a new version of this kind of Super PAC coming on the scene now and President Trump will be the beneficiary.
Just in time to begin making up for some lost time, Preserve America will be overseen by Chris LaCivita, a veteran Republican strategist and the mastermind behind the Swift Boat veterans ad campaign. Politico is reporting the PAC’s first campaign ads will begin Tuesday in key states.
Preserve America’s first commercials will begin airing Tuesday in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia. Roughly $25 million of the total buy will be invested on TV, a figure that nearly matches what America First Action and Priorities USA have spent on the airwaves over the course of the entire election cycle. The remaining $5 million will appear on digital platforms.
The super PAC’s initial ads will focus on the theme of law and order, which Trump has turned into the centerpiece of his reelection bid. The emotionally charged commercials aim to tear down Biden by contending that he’s refused to take on the “defund the police” movement that’s emerged amid a summer of racial unrest.
Trump’s law and order campaign is catching on because the violence and destruction continue in cities across the country. Voters do not feel safe in their own homes as they are seeing news reports that show the angry rioters expanding outside downtown areas in some places and moving into residential areas, especially if a prominent local official lives there. The security of living in a gated community is being breached in cities like St. Louis, where destructive protesters tore down the neighborhood’s entrance gate to march to the mayor’s house. Preserve America is using ‘real’ Americans and they are telling some compelling personal stories. Two ad spots can be previewed today.
The first is with Alyssa Cordova. Her husband was a police officer killed in the line of duty in Arizona. She questions what kind of leader Joe Biden is since he isn’t standing up for police. She points to a memorial monument that was defaced with anti-police graffiti, labeling the police as murderers. Alyssa points out that her husband was murdered.
The second ad is done with John Gillis, a retired Los Angeles police lieutenant. He tells the story of losing his daughter because he was a police officer. He said she was killed execution-style. It, too, is a personal and powerful ad. Gillis questions Biden’s character by saying Biden won’t do tough things because he is too concerned about public opinion.
Clearly, this is a point that LaCivita is bringing home for voters – Biden is too weak to do the tough stuff. He has sat silent throughout the Summer of Love and the Democrat convention ignored the violence and destruction in city streets for four days. Democrats often pump up support for protesters by saying they are exercising their First Amendment rights, which is true, but the First Amendment ends when professional agitators and others initiate violence. Democrats continue to call the protests as peaceful which is easily contradicted by the evening news every night.
The Preserve America PAC is launching at a critical time. We are almost to Labor Day when campaigns really ramp up, or at least that is how campaigns were done before the coronavirus pandemic. Biden has been trouncing Trump on the airwaves and that will stop now. Even in Texas, I see just as many Biden ads as I do Trump ads. Some major Trump donors in 2016 have hesitated to jump in with big money up until now. The same sort of thing happened in 2016 if you remember, and in the race’s last weeks, tens of millions of dollars were put into a Trump Super PAC and it really made a difference in the race. Since he’s been in office, Trump and the RNC have been very successful in fundraising efforts. America First Action is the current Trump-allied outside group. Big donors have not donated to it so far this cycle. They have voiced concerns about how the PAC is performing.
The move comes as Republicans express mounting concern over the drubbing Trump has been taking on TV. The president in August went dark in several battleground states and in Wisconsin was outspent more than eight to one, according to the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics. In Florida, Trump was outpaced by Biden more than three to one.
So who are these megadonors? Two familiar names are mentioned – Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.
Biden is trying to play defense on the subject of law and order. He spoke to the National Guard Association conference over the weekend. He promised attendees that he won’t use the military as a prop, a frequent line of criticism from Democrats of Trump. He also said he would not use the military as “a private militia to violate rights of fellow citizens”, which is a reference to Trump’s walk over to St. John’s Church.
The emergence of Preserve America is good news for Team Trump. It’s coming at the right time.
The investment comes two months before the election as Trump continues to trail former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, and to win Trump would have to be the first incumbent in over 70 years to come from behind after trailing following the major party conventions.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Trump did something that others before him weren’t able to do, now would it?