President Joe Biden’s campaign has bought airtime on Fox Business Network, Fox News, and Univision to run two new political ads before and during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, The Daily Beast has learned.
Hosted by Fox Business, the debate will be simultaneously broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News and Univision, which is showing the event in Spanish. It will be moderated by Fox anchors Dana Perino and Stuart Varney, alongside Ilia Calderón of Univision.
Seven Republican hopefuls will take the stage, though clear frontrunner Donald Trump has once again decided to skip the event and instead will address autoworkers in Michigan at a non-union automotive parts manufacturer.
During Wednesday night’s broadcast, the Biden campaign will unveil an ad targeting Latino voters. The English-language version, titled “The Difference,” will run on Fox News and Fox Business in select local markets. A Spanish version, “La Diferencia,” will air on Univision.
The 30-second television spot contrasts the GOP’s economic message to Latinos with that of the Biden administration. “Republicans say they’re for us, but we know they’re working for the rich and powerful,” the ad’s narrator says. “President Joe Biden is different. He’s fighting for us. He’s working to make billionaires and corporations pay their fair share.”
Another ad, which was announced on Wednesday morning, specifically takes aim at Trump and slams the ex-president’s record with union laborers ahead of his Michigan speech. It also comes just a day after Biden historically joined the picket line of strikers from the United Auto Workers. The ad, titled “Delivers,” will air ahead of the debate on Fox Business.
“He says he stands with autoworkers,” the campaign spot states. “But as president, Donald Trump passed tax breaks for his rich friends while automakers shuttered their plants and Michigan lost manufacturing jobs.
It continues: “Joe Biden said he’d stand up for workers and he’s delivering. Passing laws that are increasing wages and creating good-paying jobs. Manufacturing is coming back to Michigan because Joe Biden doesn’t just talk, he delivers.”
In an effort to directly reach Latino voters in swing states, and with the caveat that local channels have discretion on when exactly they’ll go to commercial breaks, “The Difference” is scheduled to run on Fox Business in the Las Vegas and Phoenix markets at 7:47 p.m. PT. The ad will also run on Fox News in those same cities at 7:48 p.m. (The president eked out razor-thin victories in Nevada and Arizona during the 2020 election.)
According to a senior Biden campaign official, Team Biden’s paid media strategy is to deploy the two direct contrast ads to an audience of swing voters in key battleground states—or at least those who are on the fence about the crop of GOP candidates.
At the same time, the official noted, they are also looking to hold Trump accountable over his lies and record with these latest TV spots, regardless if the likely GOP nominee is on the debate stage or in Michigan.
These ads are part of the campaign’s $25 million television and digital ad push in battleground states. Over the coming weeks, the advertising blitz will center on broadcast and cable television in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin—all states where the margin of victory was in the low single-digits in 2020.
The campaign is also looking to court Hispanic and African-American voters, a key Democratic voting bloc in what is anticipated to be an extremely tight 2024 election. With targeted buys in swing states, as well as Florida, the Biden campaign said this is “the largest and earliest buy a re-election campaign has ever placed in Hispanic and African American media outlets.”
Additionally, the campaign is apparently already looking past the GOP primary and focusing squarely on the quadruply indicted ex-president, who holds a near-insurmountable lead in Republican primary polls.
“More empty promises in Michigan or anywhere else can’t erase Donald Trump’s egregious failures and broken promises to America’s workers,” Kevin Munoz, Biden-Harris 2024 campaign spokesperson, said about the “Delivers” ad. “He can’t hide his anti-labor, anti-jobs record from the countless American workers he’s let down. This election will be a choice between President Biden’s real advocacy for working Americans and a rerun of billionaire Donald Trump’s broken promises to the middle class.”
In the end, with the GOP primary becoming a “snoozer” as non-Trump candidates have failed to gain traction against the former president, the Biden campaign may have gotten a nice little discount on their Fox ads. According to Semafor, Fox has slashed its rates to prospective ad buyers ahead of the second debate, charging roughly half of what they commanded during last month’s event.