Aug 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Trump ad accuses Biden of mainstreaming "radical" policies

Screengrab of ad showing Joe Biden hugging Bernie Sanders

Trump campaign ad screenshot

President Trump's re-election campaign is launching a new ad as Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination, accusing him of embracing "radical left" policies for the country.

Why it matters: The 30-second ad, "Mainstream," aims to scare centrists and older Americans watching the Democratic National Convention who feel uneasy about figures to the left of Biden, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — both of whom were featured prominently at the convention this week.

Driving the news: The television ad opens by quoting Sanders (D-Vt.) speaking at the convention on Monday night, saying that "many of the ideas we fought for — that just a few years ago were considered radical — are now mainstream.”

  • The ad's narrator predicts higher taxes, the elimination of fossil fuels, and amnesty for millions of undocumented immigrants and warns, "Your job, savings and future won't be safe in Joe Biden's America."

Behind the scenes: Trump's campaign has been seeking to use socialism as a wedge issue, and one official tells Axios they think fresh convention footage from this week will help to paint Biden as "a socialist sympathizer."

The other side: "Donald Trump is the most radical president in modern American history," said Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates, criticizing Trump's response to the pandemic and other issues and pushing back against claims that Biden would raise taxes on most Americans or ban fossil fuels.

  • And several prominent Republicans, including Colin Powell and John Kasich, were also featured at the convention this week‬ to back Biden.

Details: The ad will air in five early voting states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Wisconsin — and on national cable, and follows a digital ad released earlier this week attacking Biden's mental capacity.

Go deeper