Hillary Clinton hopes to cast Donald Trump as too reckless to be trusted with a nuclear arsenal
Her campaign enlisted the help of an actress featured in an iconic ad more than 50 years ago
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has turned to the young girl featured in the iconic 1964 “Daisy” ad in order to question Donald Trump’s ability to handle nuclear weapons.
A new ad out Monday – which features Monique Luiz, the same actress who at age three played “Daisy” in the ad for Lyndon B. Johnson’s campaign – is part of the campaign’s closing argument against the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. The campaign hopes to cast Trump as too reckless and unhinged to be trusted with the country’s nuclear arsenal.
“This was me in 1964,” Luiz says as video from the iconic ad, which features a young girl with flowers while a countdown to a nuclear warhead launch echoes in the background, plays. “The fear of nuclear war that we had as children, I never thought our children would ever have to deal with that again. And to see that coming forward in this election is really scary.”
Johnson’s ad only aired once nationally, but the tough charge in the spot – that a Goldwater presidency would lead to nuclear war – led to nationwide news coverage.
Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater had listed the use of small nuclear weapons as a way to destroy key infrastructure used by communist guerrillas in Vietnam. While he tried to back away from those comments, Democrats seized on them as a way to cast Goldwater as unhinged.
Clinton’s ad makes the same argument.
After the interview with Luiz, the ad turns to Trump, starting with a clip from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” where host Joe Scarborough says on air that during a briefing with a foreign policy expert, Trump asked three times, “why can’t we use nuclear weapons?”
“I want to be unpredictable,” Trump then exclaims, a comment he has made throughout his campaign about military action.
The ad implies that nothing would stand between Trump and the nuclear arsenal, should he win the presidency next week. The attack is familiar in this 2016 race: Clinton’s campaign has sought to disqualify Trump by questioning his ability to handle foreign policy and military issues for months.
“Bomb the s— out of them,” Trump says to close the spot, which will air in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller called the ad “a sad and a desperate attempt” to distract from the fallout of a letter FBI Director James Comey sent to committee chairman in Congress last week alerting them of newly discovered additional emails his agency is reviewing that might be relevant to Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state.
“The fact of the matter is, the world has become a less safe place during the Obama and Clinton administration,” Miller told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”
Trump’s campaign has been dogged by questions about his ability to handle foreign policy for much of the general election.
Fifty Republican national security officials signed a letter in August that argued Trump would put the country’s security “at risk.”
And in October, 10 former nuclear launch control officers who were once tasked with the responsibility of firing the country’s nuclear arsenal signed a open letter that said Trump should not be entrusted with the nuclear codes
“Donald Trump should not be the nation’s commander-in-chief,” the letter reads. “He should not be entrusted with the nuclear launch codes. He should not have his finger on the button.”