WASHINGTON ― A new anti-Donald Trump television ad depicts the Republican presidential nominee as a hot-headed warmonger with his finger on the nuclear launch button.
The spot, which is set to air on CNN Thursday night, uses Trump’s own words to paint him as impulsive and violent, a criticism his political opponents have frequently made.
Fenton Communications, a public relations firm known for cause-related marketing, created and paid for the ad. The firm said it’s not working with any presidential campaign.
The ad begins with a shot of a hand typing launch codes and then hovering over a red nuclear button. The spot highlights a number of Trump’s most bloodthirsty quotes from interviews and speeches: “I love war,” “I would bomb the shit out of them,” and “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
“The last thing you need is someone explosive and irrational like Donald Trump,” says the narrator.
The ad ends with Trump’s voice shouting, “You’re fired,” as a hand presses the nuclear launch button. A mushroom cloud ― reminiscent of President Lyndon Johnson’s controversial 1964 “Daisy” ad ― overtakes the screen.
Trump has swung back and forth on the issue of nuclear weapons during his campaign. He told The New York Times in March that such weapons should be used as a “last step.”
But that same month, he told Bloomberg Politics that he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons, particularly in the fight against the Islamic State ― a threat that many national security experts consider dangerous.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said last month that a foreign policy expert who advised Trump told him that the GOP nominee had asked why the U.S. couldn’t just use its nuclear arsenal. Scarborough didn’t name the source, and the Trump campaign denied the “Morning Joe” host’s claim.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place