By JOHN VERHOVEK, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — On the day he is slated to accept his party’s nomination for president of the United States, Joe Biden’s campaign is rolling out a new television ad on Thursday hammering President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and extolling the former vice president’s leadership in times of crisis.
The new ad, entitled “What Happens Now,” lays out a series of fundamental questions facing many Americans grappling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What happens now? Now that the rents due but they’ve cut your pay? Now that the virus has caused lives, but your health care costs too much? Now that our president has had months, but he still doesn’t have a plan? What happens now?” the narrator of the ad begins.
Touting Biden’s experience leading the economy recovery following the 2008 financial crisis, the ad argues the Democratic nominee is a leader equipped to lead the country out of the devastation wrought by COVID-19.
“Now, Joe Biden is ready to lead us through this crisis. He knows rebuilding our economy starts with fighting the virus, increasing testing, getting more protective gear for healthcare workers, and calling for mask mandates nationwide,” the ad states.
“As President, he’ll get working families back on their feet, by lowering health care costs and helping small businesses recover. So what happens now? We elect a president who will build back better,” it concludes.
The new 60-second spot comes the morning after Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., accepted the party’s vice presidential nomination, and President Barack Obama offered his starkest rebuke yet of Trump’s leadership.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job, because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe,” Obama said in a live speech from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The new ad will air in top markets across six key battleground states, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and on national cable channels, according to the Biden campaign, and is part of an ongoing paid media program across television, radio and digital, which is slated to pour $24 million into ads next week alone.
The Biden campaign says the new ad is part of its first major push during the general election to highlight key biographical elements about Biden, amid a convention they hope allows the American people to learn more about the Democratic ticket.
As part of that push, the campaign is also retooling and expanding the reach an ad that originally aired in the battleground state of Ohio entitled “Backbone,” which highlights Biden’s roots in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and his commitment to fighting for better jobs and wages for working class Americans. The ad will now air across those six key battleground states the campaign sees as crucial to their path to 270 electoral votes.
Biden will formally accept his party’s presidential nomination in a speech Thursday from Wilmington, Delaware, capping off a four-day convention that was originally supposed to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but was restructured as a mostly-virtual event.
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