Progressive groups that are spending millions to define President Donald Trump as an incompetent ignoramus and egomaniac during the coronavirus crisis are betting that Trump’s own words at his press briefings will be their “greatest ammunition,” according to a Monday Washington Post report.
As Trump uses the daily briefings to run circles around an inept and clueless legacy media that still seem to be stuck in the 2000s, the coronavirus, according to a recent Mother Jones report, “made it clear to progressive operatives and advocates that they had an immediate role to play, and that they could make a big difference by launching ad campaigns that define Trump on the election’s new and biggest question.”
According to the Post, Trump’s “marathon” briefing sessions only give progressive groups more ammunition because “all of Trump’s performances are scooped up by Democratic super PACs — which employ entire teams dedicated to watching the president and logging his various comments. The most damning sound bites have begun to form the drumbeat of the November election.”
Priorities USA has reportedly spent $7.5 million in ads in battleground states working to win over “persuadable voters who sided with President Barack Obama in 2012 and then backed Trump, or those who chose Mitt Romney in 2012 and then Hillary Clinton.” Other groups like Protect Our Care and Pacronym have also tried to define Trump to voters now when nearly much of the country is under stay-at-home orders.
Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, told the Post: “It’s important when you have a president who’s literally just lying, misinforming, mismanaging, that you use the president’s own words.”
The group is trying to convince voters that Americans “are in this position now because the administration didn’t take it seriously.”
“We could run a 10-minute ad every hour, and still not scratch the surface of how the president has misinformed people and sent contradictory messages,” Cecil told the Post.
Last week, as Mother Jones noted, Priorities USA Action started running ads in “the swing states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin” that “splices clips of Trump downplaying the crisis with a growing chart showing the rising number of infections in the United States.” After the Trump campaign issued a cease and desist letter, the group doubled down and put up an updated ad in Arizona.
He ignored intelligence.
He ignored experts.
He ignored science.
As the number of sick skyrockets, Trump thinks he's done "one hell of a job."
Watch the updated ad Trump doesn't want Americans to see and help us continue to hold him accountable.https://t.co/ZeRIriA3Y8 pic.twitter.com/2in9JP6ire
— Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 30, 2020
Mother Jones also reported that the Protect Our Care group reportedly immediately set up a “Coronavirus War Room,” which is now serving as “messaging hub meant to hold Trump accountable for the ways he has made the crisis worse” and “acting as a messaging clearinghouse for other groups.” Protect Our Care’s Brad Woodhouse told the outlet that some of the messages that progressives groups are pushing include: “He screwed it up from the beginning, he hasn’t learned from his mistakes, he’s downplayed the crisis, he doesn’t listen to experts, and that continues to make the crisis worse.”
“You can’t wait until October to tell the American people about how roundly he screwed this up,” Woodhouse reportedly added.
Other progressive super PACs, according to the Mother Jones report, immediately started to “run advertisements on Facebook and on television to hammer this message” as Trump started dominating the briefings and cable outlets continued to, for the most part, air them live.
Trump has put himself – his ratings, his businesses, his ego, his cronies, his golf – first every single day of his administration, and now his failure to heed warnings + protect us is costing thousands of American lives. #HeMadeItWorse #FourIsEnough pic.twitter.com/nFP8LcylFw
— Tara McGowan (@taraemcg) April 2, 2020
Pacronyn, for instance, is reportedly spending “$2.5 million through April on Facebook ads” in battleground states to educate voters about “how the Trump administration’s chaos and incompetence have weakened the nation’s ability to respond to the coronavirus crisis.”
— PACRONYM (@PACRONYM) April 5, 2020
Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist, told Mother Jones that “voters have deep concern about the character flaws of Donald Trump” because “they identify that he’s selfish, that he’s dishonest, and that he’s chaotic.”
“But up until now, those flaws have never had a cost. Up until now people wrote those flaws off as ‘He tweets too much.’ Now, the fundamental character flaws of Donald Trump are having real consequences,” Ferguson reportedly said. “That more than anything else may be his undoing.”
But progressive groups could be spending millions now to define Trump because Trump never implodes like the left-wing groups always think he will after every “crisis.”
“One thing has been clear from the last five years of Trump, which is that he has enough right-wing information channels that even when we think he will implode, he rarely does,” Ferguson reportedly added. “They’re gonna want to crown him the King of Corona like Eisenhower was after D-Day no matter what happens.”