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Jun 17, 2024, 2:58pm EDT
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Semafor Signals

Biden campaign plays the felon card in new Trump attack ad

Insights from The Los Angeles Times, Politico, and The New York Times

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Biden-Harris 2024/YouTube
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The News

US President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign took its most direct shot at his Republican rival Donald Trump’s legal woes in a new TV ad calling him a “convicted criminal.” “This election is between a convicted criminal who’s only out for himself, and a president who’s fighting for your family,” a voice says over an image of Trump’s mugshot from the Georgia election interference case that is yet to go to trial.

The ad also references Trump’s 34-count conviction for hush money payments in Manhattan, the civil case in which he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation against E. Jean Carroll, as well as the $355 million civil fraud ruling against his business. The Biden campaign spent $50 million on ads this month, and said the TV spot is intended to set up a contrast ahead of the first Biden-Trump debate on CNN on June 27.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Biden campaign ramps up direct Trump attacks

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Sources:  
The Los Angeles Times, Axios

The ad, titled “Character Matters,” comes as the Biden campaign has started to launch more direct attacks on Trump. In “a notable escalation of their rhetoric,” Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and former President Barack Obama took shots at the former president at a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser over the weekend, The Los Angeles Times reported. “I could have done nothing and done better than him,” Biden said of Trump’s White House’s record. The fundraiser raked in more than $30 million — the largest cash haul from a one-night event in the Democratic Party’s history.

Trump’s criminal conviction could hurt him with independents

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Source:  
Politico

It’s unclear to what extent Trump’s criminal conviction will sway voters, but a new Politico poll shows that 21% of independents said it would be an important factor in their vote and made them less likely to support him. But there’s also reason to believe that Trump’s efforts to malign the justice system are getting through to voters, former federal prosecutor Ankush Khardori argued in Politico: 43% of Americans believe the charges were meant to help Biden. However, the poll suggests that “Americans’ views on the Trump verdict may still be malleable — and could get better or worse for Trump,” Khardori wrote.

Biden reelection doubts compounded by son’s guilty verdict

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Sources:  
Semafor, Axios, The New York Times

In the wake of the president’s son Hunter Biden’s conviction on federal gun charges, some Biden aides are torn about whether he should be running at all, Axios reported. Revelations from Hunter’s trial — which revealed deeply personal details about the Biden family’s troubles — have some concerned that the president is too distracted by family turmoil to campaign. Whether Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict will have a direct impact on Biden’s reelection efforts remains to be seen: In a Reuters poll earlier this year, 23% of respondents said Hunter’s legal problems made them less likely to vote for his father, and a conservative New York Times columnist pointed out that the evidence against Hunter could undercut Biden’s advantage over Trump on ethical issues.

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