According to a new excerpt from Michael Bender’s tell-all book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election, early on in the 2020 election cycle, Trump’s then-campaign manager Brad Parscale was itching to run some attack ads against Joe Biden that tied the former vice president to China. However, advisor Kellyanne Conway was apparently against the idea while Trump himself was unsatisfied with the images of Biden they wanted to use in the ads.
“Kellyanne was so confident Brad was wrong that she went to both Trump and the press,” Bender writes in the book. “Brad’s idea wasn’t unwise—it was unripe, she said. Americans were focused on the pandemic, not the presidential race, and she told Trump his best bet to close the gap was to use his bully pulpit to take on the virus, not Biden. She viewed the political fight over coronavirus as between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”
Conway tried to explain that “injecting Biden into that equation risked elevating the former vice president, who was, for now, stuck on the sidelines of the debate.”
However, then President Trump was allegedly concerned that running attack ads this early in the game would make it seem as though his campaign believed Biden to be the Democratic nominee when it wasn’t yet official.
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“And he obsessed over the images in the spots,” Bender goes on to add. “He regularly asked the campaign to find pictures that made Biden look worse, and shots that made himself look better.”
Of course, there are plenty of images out there that show Joe Biden goofing off with his dogs, eating ice cream, hugging kids and grandmas, showing off his Aviators, and driving muscle cars. But in Trump’s opinion, none of these made Biden look bad enough in comparison to him.
“You just spent half the ad making him look fifty years younger than he is,” Trump allegedly complained.
Larry Weitzner kept making attack ads against the former VP, but Trump continuously shot them down “because he didn’t think Biden looked unappealing enough.”
“Weitzner explained that distasteful images, at a certain point, would make the ads ineffective, but Trump didn’t care,” Bender explains. “‘Use sh*ttier pictures,’ Trump ordered him.”
Apparently, it took to the very end of the race before the Trump campaign had compiled a “Bad Biden” file that was full of pictures of Biden that were terrible enough for Donald to find satisfactory.
Bender’s book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election, is on sale now.