Biden’s reelection team launches $50 million ad campaign targeting Trump before the first debate

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign said Monday it will spend $50 million through the end of June on a new ad campaign that includes efforts to spotlight Republican Donald Trump’s felony conviction.

The costly advertising push comes with Election Day still more than four and a half months away. But Biden’s campaign says it wants to more clearly define the choice between the two candidates ahead of the first debate between them in Atlanta on June 27.

A central part of Biden’s campaign strategy is highlighting Trump’s far-reaching policy proposals for a second term and firing up disaffected Democrats and independent voters. The campaign producing an ad that leans heavily into Trump’s conviction, and including it in such a large advertising buy, indicates a renewed effort to make Trump’s legal problems an election issue in ways Biden’s team previously resisted.

The new ad campaign includes more than $1 million geared toward media reaching Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters, and an ad highlighting Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts in a New York hush money case. That spot will air on general market television and connected TV on streaming devices and cell phones in battleground states, as well as on national cable.

In addition to Trump’s criminal conviction, the ad, titled “Character Matters,” notes the former president also was found liable for sexual assault and financial fraud in separate proceedings. Trump also faces felony charges in three separate criminal cases, none of which may go to trial before the November election.

“This election is between a convicted criminal who’s only out for himself and a president who’s fighting for your family,” intones the ad’s narrator over images of a Trump mug shot and Biden high-fiving supporters.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment Sunday night. But Trump has denied any wrongdoing and argued without evidence that Biden or Justice Department officials orchestrated the New York case against him for political reasons. He and his allies also have raised the prospect of prosecuting political opponents in revenge if he returns to the White House.

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