Donald Trump’s reelection campaign made a seven-figure television ad buy during the final game of the World Series Wednesday night, checking off the President’s accomplishments and going after his perceived enemies in Washington.
The Trump campaign ad depicts how the President is “changing Washington.” Notably, the ad highlights the recent death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The World Series ad buy got praise from at least one former Obama campaign official, David Plouffe.
“@realDonaldTrump ad that just ran during World Series was quite strong. National TV ads in October of off year - unprecedented,” the former Obama campaign manager tweeted.
Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s reelection campaign, explained that the ad was part of a seven-figure national ad buy to air during the World Series and beyond.
“It’s a national World Series buy 12 months out. We’re on offense,” he said.
The ad harkens back to some of the familiar catchphrases of the reelection campaign – “Keep America Great” and “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” emphasizing that Trump is creating “six million new jobs,” “cutting illegal immigration by half” and “obliterating ISIS.”
While the campaign claims Trump has cut illegal immigration by half, the Fox News story the campaign cites clarifies that there has been a 50% decline in illegal border crossings since peaking in May of this year. Southwest border apprehensions were much higher in the just-ended 2019 fiscal year than in the 2016 or 2017 fiscal years.
But the ad doesn’t just focus on accomplishments. Much like his campaign’s larger messaging strategy, the ad also targets Democrats and, briefly, the Russia investigation for holding the President down.
“The Democrats would rather focus on impeachment and phony investigations, ignoring the real issues,” a narrator says as the screen cuts to the faces Democratic leadership, House Intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and special counsel Robert Mueller.
“But that’s not stopping Donald Trump. He’s no Mr. Nice Guy. But sometimes he takes a Donald Trump to change Washington,” the narrator continues.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said the ad was made the same day it aired. The Campaign Media Analysis Group at Kantar Media, which analyzes TV ad spending, confirmed that the Trump ad was a “national buy on Fox at 9:17 pm Eastern last night.”
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign was sharply criticized for running an ad on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s capture and killing. Obama campaign used Bill Clinton to narrate several Obama accomplishments, including the raid on bin Laden.
The Republican National Committee seized on it then, including former GOP chair Ed Gillespie, who blasted Obama for using it for political purposes. He said at the time “he took something that was a unifying event for all Americans, and he’s managed to turn it into a divisive, partisan political attack.”
CNN’s Betsy Klein, Kaitlan Collins, Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak, David Wright, Daniel Dale and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.