Jun 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: DNC billboard tags Trump as "convicted felon"

A digital version of a bilboard being paid for by the DNC calling Trump a convicted felon

Billboard art targeting former President Trump. Photo: DNC

The Democratic National Committee is escalating its attacks on former President Trump as a "convicted felon," with a billboard that will greet him outside of Phoenix today when he attends his first post-conviction event there, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: It's the DNC's first paid ad using "convicted felon" — and another clear indication that Biden's campaign will seize upon Trump's criminal conviction in framing voters' choice in the Nov. 5 election.

  • "Trump already attacked Arizona's democracy once. Now he's back as a convicted felon. He's out for revenge and retribution," the digital billboard will read. It will run first in English and then in Spanish off of I-17.

Zoom out: Republicans aren't disputing that revenge is dominating their thinking — especially since Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts last week. In fact, Trump and the GOP he now controls is broadcasting are broadcasting their plot for retribution.

  • Trump is suggesting he might seek to imprison his political opponents if he wins in November.
  • "It's a terrible, terrible path that they're leading us to, and it's very possible that it's going to have to happen to them," Trump told Newsmax on Tuesday.

Many of his allies are going even further — including Charlie Kirk, whose conservative Turning Point Action group is hosting Trump in Phoenix. GOP prosecutors across the country should get "creative" in charging Democrats, he said on X.

  • "Of course [Alvin Bragg] should be — and will be — jailed," Steve Bannon, one of the top voices of the MAGA movement, told Axios, referring to the about the Manhattan district attorney who won the felony case against Trump.
  • In the Senate, Republicans also indicated they's prepared to escalate. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) used emojis on X to say it was time "to fight fire with fire," echoing comments made by Donald Trump Jr.

Zoom in: Biden initially took a cautious approach to Trump's guilty verdict, but with early polls suggesting that Trump's conviction could be giving the president a bump in support, that's all over now.

  • Biden topped off his remarks at a Connecticut fundraiser Monday night by calling Trump a "convicted felon" and arguing that he "snapped" after losing the 2020 election.
  • "Trump has always acted as though he is above the law, and it's clear he is unfit to serve," DNC Deputy Communications Director Abhi Rahman said in a statement about the billboards.
  • "That's why Arizonans will reject Trump in November and again unite behind President Biden and Vice President Harris..."

Between the lines: In their own way, Trump and Republicans are also embracing the verdict, using it to juice their donor base and make direct appeals to Black voters over their shared frustration with the criminal justice system.

  • They also want to harness the anger that is coursing throughout the Republican party and direct it toward voter turnout on election day.
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