Democrats roll out Biden ads in Milwaukee before Republican convention

More than 50 buses will carry the ads through the convention that runs from July 15-18, the Democratic National Committee said.

U.S. President Joe Biden attends a campaign event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 7, 2024. / REUTERS/Nathan Howard

U.S. Democrats are rolling out advertisements on dozens of Milwaukee buses before the Republican convention there next week, with most featuring images of U.S. President Joe Biden from a popular online meme even as he tries to salvage his re-election bid.

More than 50 buses will carry the ads through the convention that runs from July 15-18, the Democratic National Committee said. Biden's rival Donald Trump is due to be officially named at the convention as the Republican Party's nominee in the Nov. 5 presidential election.

It is not unusual for a political party to launch such an ad campaign around a rival convention, but the Democrats' messaging comes amid calls for Biden to step aside after a shaky debate outing that has prompted questions about his mental fitness.

The DNC did not immediately respond to a query about when plans for the ad campaign were put in place.

Biden beat Trump in the left-leaning city of Milwaukee by a landslide margin of nearly 60 percentage points, but carried the larger state of Wisconsin by fewer than 21,000 votes out of 3.2 million cast. Wisconsin is expected to be a pivotal battleground state in the election this year.

The ads focus on abortion rights, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and the recent criminal conviction of Trump, who only weeks ago called Milwaukee a "horrible city" at a closed door meeting, according to media reports.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said the statement was described inaccurately and that Trump was talking about how "terrible crime and voter fraud are."

The ads feature Biden staring out with red eyes mimicking the popular "Dark Brandon" meme, which started as a right-wing slogan to tie Biden to conspiracy theories but has since been co-opted by Democrats in support of Biden.

"Get real, Jack. I'm bringing Roe back," says one ad, a reference to the Supreme Court's decision in 2022 to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion. The court's conservative majority includes three justices Trump appointed.

"This year, the survival of our democracy is on the ballot, along with protections for fundamental freedoms, health care, affordable prescription drugs, and good-paying jobs," said Rosemary Boeglin, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, whose own convention will take place in Chicago in August.

"There's just one candidate who will protect them: President Joe Biden."









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