Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who has so far failed to break through in a crowded presidential Democratic field, launches a TV ad campaign Tuesday ahead of a planned tour of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan this week.
The 30-second ad, called “I Promise,” blasts President Donald Trump for what it describes as a series of broken promises related to manufacturing jobs, lower prescription drug prices and infrastructure improvements.
It will air on cable in the media markets corresponding with the six stops on what she is calling a “Trump’s Broken Promises” tour Thursday and Friday. The campaign said it was spending five figures on the two-day ad buy.
The ad opens with video of Trump speaking during the 2016 campaign, followed by pictures of old factories.
“If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant,” he declares. “You’ll have plants coming into this country. You’re going to have jobs again. I promise you.”
It goes on to say that manufacturing jobs are not staying, drug prices have been rising and much of the nation’s infrastructure is still in need of repair. The ad closes with Gillibrand speaking from the stage last month at the first Democratic debates in Miami.
“As president, I will take on the fights that no one else will,” she says.
Gillibrand raised $3 million in the first quarter of the year. She has not yet released her fundraising total for the second quarter.
Her ad buy comes as many candidates have been more focused on advertising on sites like Facebook and Google or in early-voting states. The goal of the ad and the tour is to introduce her to voters in three states that former President Barack Obama won twice but that narrowly went for Trump in 2016.
Gillibrand plans to highlight what she calls Trump’s failures and to offer her own policy prescriptions for kitchen table issues that affect voters’ cost of living. The focus on bread and butter issues – rather than Trump’s personality or morality – is part of an effort to win the trust of voters who feel left behind even as the American economy grows.
“We’ll head to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan to highlight Trump’s empty promises on issues like drug prices, jobs and gun violence prevention with policy solutions that will actually deliver for working people,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “To beat President Trump, you have to have the courage and toughness to go toe-to-toe with him and call out his lies on the issues. That’s what this tour is about.”
She will include a stop in Flint, Michigan, which has long been suffering from the collapse of manufacturing jobs and more recently had to grapple with dangerous levels of lead in the water. The senator will also visit Youngstown, Ohio, where a nearby General Motors plant ceased production earlier this year. The closure is part of a major restructuring the company announced in November; the plant is one of four in the US that the company plans to shutter.
“I’m going to President Trump’s backyard to show the American people how many promises he’s actually broken,” Gillibrand told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Tuesday on “CNN Newsroom.”
“[Trump] promised to lower prescription drug prices and failed. He promised to end bad trade deals and bring back manufacturing jobs and failed. He promised to end gun violence, and he’s failed. And so I’m going to talk about my vision for the country to actually get things done,” she continued.
“The ‘Broken Promises’ bus tour is very unique and unlike anything other candidates have done,” said Communications Director Meredith Kelly. “It recognizes that voters are viewing this primary through the lens of Donald Trump and who can beat him in the general. It also demonstrates that Kirsten will go to Trump’s (symbolic) doorstep – whether it’s in states he flipped in 2016 or launching at Trump International” Hotel and Tower.
Gillibrand’s trip comes as the senator, mired in the low single digits in several recent national and state polls, expands her staff in the key early states of Iowa, where Kelly says Gillibrand is on track to have 35 staffers by the end of the month, and New Hampshire, where she expects to have about 20 staff by end of the month.
“We’ve had one debate and there’s going to be 10,” she said on CNN Tuesday. “So it’s a long process between now and the first primary in New Hampshire and the first caucus in Iowa. And those are states that I intend to win.”