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Biden campaign calls Trump a 'convicted felon' in new ad about former president's legal affairs

Biden campaign calls Trump a 'convicted felon' in new ad about former president's legal affairs
Biden campaign calls Trump a 'convicted felon' in new ad about former president's legal affairs

 


President Biden's campaign is tapping into former President Donald Trump's legal troubles with a new television ad calling Trump a “convicted felon.”

Last month, Trump was convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in an attempt to prevent voters from learning of an alleged sexual relationship between the two. Trump denies the sexual encounter ever took place.

The ad, titled “Character Matters,” begins with a narrator saying, “In the courtroom, we see Donald Trump for who he is.” He then references not only his 34 felony convictions, but also the former president convicted of sexual abuse and defamation in May 2023 and the New York City civil case in which a judge found that the Trump Organization had committed fraud.

“This election is between a convicted felon, who is only out for himself, and a president who fights for your family,” the ad ends, as the campaign seeks to highlight the contrast between the two candidates.

Throughout his numerous court battles, Mr. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and sought to discredit prosecutors. He said he would appeal the conviction in the “hush money” trial involving Stormy Daniels' payments.

The Biden campaign ad is scheduled to air in battleground states a little more than a week before the first presidential debate on June 27 and is part of a $50 million ad buy for the month of June.

“Trump is approaching the first debate like a convicted felon who continues to prove that he will do anything and hurt anyone if it means more power and revenge for Donald Trump,” said Michael Tyler , communications director for Biden-Harris 2024, in a statement about the ad. “We will make sure to remind voters every day how Joe Biden is fighting for them, while Donald Trump is running a campaign focused on one man: himself.”

The 2020 rematch between Mr. Biden and Trump remains close. A June CBS News poll found that Mr. Biden and Trump are fundamentally tied both nationally and in battleground states.

The ad is the latest evolution of the Biden campaign's messaging on Trump's legal woes. In the months leading up to and throughout much of Trump's “hush money” trial, the campaign refrained from relying heavily on the criminal process, making only subtle references to Daniels' name in press releases.

That changed in the final weeks of the trial. The campaign held a news conference outside the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, which included actor Robert De Niro and two former officers who were on Capitol Hill during the Jan. 6 riot.

In a statement reacting to the decision, Mr Biden said it reaffirmed “the American principle that no one is above the law” and said it was “reckless, dangerous, irresponsible for anyone to say that it was “rigged”, simply because they don't like the verdict.

Recent fundraising emails from Mr. Biden's campaign have also referenced the verdict.

“Here is the unvarnished truth: a group of 12 Americans from all walks of life reviewed the evidence and unanimously decided to convict Donald Trump,” read an email from early June.

Although Mr. Biden's campaign had an advantage over Trump's when it came to cash on hand, Mr. Trump's campaign saw fundraising momentum following the convictions. The former president's campaign says it raised $52.8 million in the 24 hours following the verdict.

The initial reaction to Trump's conviction did not appear to dramatically shake up the race, with most voters saying it was not a factor in their vote, according to a June CBS News poll. That same poll, taken after the decision, found that support among key elements of Mr. Biden's base had increased slightly.

More from CBS News

Aaron Navarro

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