UPDATED: 12:36 p.m. ET —
In the latest indication that the president is more concerned with re-election than he is with fighting the coronavirus pandemic in America, Donald Trump tweeted a fake video with racial overtones that shows he’s already in hardcore campaign mode against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. A doctored image of former President Barack Obama was showcased in the video that plays on an Allstate insurance ad by showing him and three other Black men watching a game on TV when it’s interrupted.
“Not another commercial!” one of the men exclaims as Trump’s video begins showing an excerpt from a cringeworthy speech Biden gave to what appeared to be a group of mostly African Americans in the city of Wilmington in his home state of Delaware. In that speech, Biden provided some quasi-dog-whistling examples of why he says he relates to the Black community.
Biden’s word in Trump’s video begins with the former vice president sharing an uncomfortable anecdote with the crowd about how when he was younger kids would come up to him at a pool and touch his legs because of how the hair on them that turned blond in the summer would stand on their ends. The video then cuts to Obama looking uneasy listening to Biden’s words in front of the other men before the speech inexplicably segues into his next set words:
“I learned about roaches, I learned about kids jumping on my lap, and I love kids jumping in my lap…”
The men in the ad all look confused at Obama, the unspoken implication clear: “How could you have this man as your VP?”
The fake Obama looks back at them. “What?” he shrugged.
Trump’s fake video then flashes a big Trump/Pence 2020 campaign sign while DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” plays in the background.
Watch the video below.
Now, here is the video of Biden delivering those fateful words.
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton criticized Trump’s video as proof the president only cares about himself and demanded he take it down from social media.
“In the middle of a pandemic, when the nation grieves and mourns the lives of thousands gone too soon, Trump continues his dereliction of duty and posts a racist mocking video of Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama,” Sharpton said in a brief statement on Monday. “While Blacks are dying at disproportionate numbers, to be mocked by the President, is pouring salt on open wombs. This is intolerable and disgraceful. The President should immediately remove this post and apologize to the nation.”
Trump’s tweet on Monday morning provided a glimpse of the types of tactics that he was expected to keep using in the 2020 race as Election Day rapidly approaches. However, releasing such a video nearly seven months ahead of Election Day may also indicate the type of threat Trump feels from Biden’s candidacy. That could explain why Trump decided to harp on the issue of race in the new fake ad he tweeted Monday morning.
National polls have Trump trailing Biden in a head-to-head matchup in November and new, separate polls were released over the weekend showing that 1) more than half of the country disapproves of the job the president is doing and 2) nearly half of the country disapproves of how he’s handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Obama officially endorsed Biden’s candidacy last Tuesday and seemed to take a shot at Trump without mentioning his name.
“Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness,” Obama said in his endorsement announced via video.
That truth may have hurt Trump to the point that he decided to released the fake video on Monday to counter all the positive media attention that Biden has been getting while the president continues to be criticized for his response to the coronavirus crisis that has killed more than 41,000 people in the United States and infected more than 765,000 cases.