Republicans and former Trump allies just keep spewing ready-made 2024 Joe Biden ads, and Team Biden keeps capitalizing.
Several weeks ago, for instance, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina—both running in the Republican presidential primary—dunked on Biden for being pro-union. Team Biden spliced the clips together and tweeted it out on Biden's campaign account with one simple word: "Yes."
It wasn't the first ad like this, and it won't be the last. Remember this summer when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia made the case that Biden is "actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on"? Daily Kos' Joan McCarter spotted that Biden campaign ad from a mile away, and then—voilà!—there it was.
Well, hold on to your hats, folks, because here comes the attack ad portion of Biden's 2024 campaign, courtesy of former Trump White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. And truly, there is simply no way to do justice to Kelly's observations about Trump without including the whole damn statement secured by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“What can I add that has not already been said?” Kelly said, when asked if he wanted to weigh in on his former boss in light of recent comments made by other former Trump officials. “A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.’ A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family – for all Gold Star families – on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.
“A person who is not truthful regarding his position on the protection of unborn life, on women, on minorities, on evangelical Christians, on Jews, on working men and women,” Kelly continued. “A person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about. A person who cavalierly suggests that a selfless warrior who has served his country for 40 years in peacetime and war should lose his life for treason – in expectation that someone will take action. A person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.
“There is nothing more that can be said,” Kelly concluded. “God help us.”
Until now, reports about several of these instances, such as Trump calling fallen service members "suckers," had been hotly disputed by Trump allies. But Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general and Trump's longest-serving chief of staff, put that debate to rest with his on-the-record statement.
While acting as commander in chief of the U.S. military, Trump called POWs, wounded soldiers, and troops who make the ultimate sacrifice "suckers” and “losers.”
Trump is also a bona fide cult leader who commands the votes of some 45% of this country.
His cultists drank the Kool Aid, and in Trump's view, they are all suckers in waiting who would drink more at his direction—no matter what the concoction. That’s exactly what Trump did on Jan. 6, 2021, when he sicced his mob of supporters on the U.S. Capitol, and that’s exactly what he is already priming his faithful to do again in 2024 if he isn’t elected to another term.
The only downside to Kelly’s comments for Team Biden is that they weren’t made on camera. Still, if and when the time comes for a Biden-Trump rematch, Kelly’s statements can be skillfully employed in several well-made ads alongside footage of Trump’s previous remarks about liking “people who weren’t captured,” which was a 2015 reference to the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a former POW.
Such an ad won’t peel away any Trump cultists, but it could demoralize soft Republican voters while simultaneously motivating anti-Trumpers to get to the polls—even if they are not exactly enthused about casting a vote for Biden. That’s a valuable part of the not-Trump coalition Biden needs to recreate in 2024 to win reelection.
Sign the petition: Trump attempted a coup on Jan. 6. He is a clear and present danger to democracy.