President Joe Biden’s campaign released its first television ad for the 2024 election on Thursday, warning of an “extremist” threat to democracy over images of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
The advertisement, entitled “Cause,” will get its first network showing on Saturday, the third anniversary of the historic assault by Donald Trump supporters which left five people dead.
“All of us are being asked right now, what will we do to maintain our democracy?” the 81-year-old Democrat says in a passage lifted from a speech he gave in Arizona last year.
“There’s something dangerous happening in America. There’s an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs in our democracy,” says the ad, released early on social media.
During the one-minute ad, Biden does not mention by name former president Trump — the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination and the man he beat in 2020.
But over swelling, dramatic music, the ad features repeated images of pro-Trump signs held by the January 6 rioters, as well as a hangman’s noose brought by the protesters to the Capitol.
It also includes pictures of torch-bearing white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The Biden campaign is increasingly painting the election as a fight for American democracy against Trump, with the president set to give a speech on similar lines in Pennsylvania on Friday.
Polls show Biden and Trump neck and neck despite the populist Republican tycoon, 77, facing multiple criminal trials, including one linked to the January 6 riot.
Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said Republicans had “doubled down” on threats to undermine elections.
“This ad serves as a very real reminder that this election could very well determine the very fate of American democracy,” she said in a statement. — AFP