The day before the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a Democratic super PAC is launching a six-figure ad buy that ties Republican allies of former president Donald Trump to the deadly events of that day.
Priorities USA Action on Wednesday announced the release of two short digital ads, to run in battleground states with the intention of targeting “voters who are consuming less political news since Donald Trump left office.”
One ad, “Coup,” opens with footage of Trump casting doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election and saying Republicans were needed to “take care of the election frauds.”
“Last time was just a test run,” a narrator warns amid chaotic scenes of Trump supporters storming the Capitol last year. The pro-Trump mob tried to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral college win, an attack that resulted in five deaths and left some 140 members of law enforcement injured.
The 30-second ad also briefly highlights some of the Republican House and Senate candidates Trump has endorsed for 2022 midterm elections.
“Donald Trump is putting people in place now to dictate the outcome of the next presidential election in Congress and in states all around the country,” the narrator adds.
The second ad, “You Were Right,” includes images from the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and of a Capitol rioter carrying a Confederate flag through the halls of Congress. It also gives a brief overview of some of the Trump-endorsed candidates of 2022.
“Every single chaotic, disastrous day of the Donald Trump presidency reminds us that your vote to defeat him was absolutely right,” a narrator states in this ad. “The only way to stop Trump is with your vote.”
The ads use slightly different approaches, but both seek to cast the midterm elections as a referendum on Trump — and on those the former president supports — even though he will have been out of office for nearly two years by then.
Some Democratic operatives have criticized continued efforts to tie post-2020 elections to Trump, pointing to Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial race. There, they said, his attempts to make the race about Trump were ineffective, and a recent report by the Democratic think tank Third Way and ALG Research warned that Democrats should take heed in the midterms.
“We’re not saying this was a mistake, or that Terry had a better message he left on the table. We don’t know,” that report stated. “But we do know that if our most-effective message in 2022 is that Republicans = Trump, we’re going to get creamed.”
But in releasing the two Trump-focused ads, Priorities USA said it was important to continue reminding voters — especially those who “want to tune politics out after the chaos of the Trump presidency” — that Trump and his Republican allies continue to question the legitimacy of elections in the United States.
“We have an obligation to prevent those who enabled this tragedy from holding power ever again,” Aneesa McMillan, the deputy executive director of Priorities USA, said in a statement.
“January 6th was not an isolated incident,” she said. “The Republican Party has sought to delegitimize our elections by implementing voter suppression laws that disproportionately disenfranchise Black and brown Americans, intimidating voters and election officials, and promoting lies and conspiracy theories in their campaigns.”
The ads will run on digital platforms such as streaming television services and Facebook, the Democratic group said.
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