Democrat dark money groups are linking up, joining forces for a multi-million-dollar ad campaign designed to convince voters that President Donald Trump should bear the blame for the American coronavirus pandemic.
The Washington Post reports that Pacronym, a Democratic mega-group focused on the 2020 presidential election, will spend at least $5 million in the first offensive attack of the 2020 presidential campaign season, airing commericals in key battleground states blaming Trump for ignoring the growing coronavirus threat.
“This is a public health issue and a national security issue, but it’s also a public policy issue and thus a political one,” one Democratic official, associated with Pacronym, told the Post.
The ads will air in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and North Carolina — all states where Democratic votes are key, and all states that are leaning, at least slightly, towards Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Around half the ads — $2.5 million work — will air before the end of April. The rest will air in July, around the time both parties hold their nominating conventions.
Based on early clips, released on Twitter, Pacronym will focus on a largely debunked story about President Donald Trump “eliminating” the White House pandemic office.
"When you say me, I didn't do it."
— PACRONYM (@PACRONYM) March 18, 2020
Several news organizations have reported on the issue and nearly all agree that the office was downsized, not eliminated, and at the request of then-national security advisor John Bolton, not President Trump. Bolton felt that the pandemic office, along with several other national security task forces, had become bloated; some had grown by dozens of employees under the Obama Administration, many of whom, Bolton felt, were not necessary.
If “Pacronym” sounds familiar, that’s because it is directly affiliated with the Democratic activist group, Acronym, which helped fun the now-infamous Shadow, Inc. — the organization responsible for snagging the contract to build an app for the Iowa caucuses. The app failed miserably, sending the caucuses into a week-long tailspin and delaying results from the first-in-the-nation primary contest for days. The app malfunctioned when reporting results from caucus sites and, in some cases, failed at the outset, leaving caucus-goers unable to register their preferences.
Acronym and Pacronym have ties to both the Obama campaign, through Pacronym board of directors member David Plouffe, who served as former President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist, and to Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated 2016 operation, through a number of high-level advisors and operatives. The Acronym, Pacronym, and Shadow, Inc., employees who built the Iowa caucus app came straight off Clinton’s 2016 tech team.
But Acronym and Pacronym are not the only shadowy organizations looking to exploit the coronavirus pandemic. American Bridge, the Federalist reports, will also run a series of ads targeting President Donald Trump over the White House’s crisis response.
“Another Democratic PAC called American Bridge said they will also be running similar ads politicizing the pandemic in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. American Bridge told the Washington Post it would be placing an additional ad on ‘Trump’s incompetence,’ including ‘clips of Trump himself downplaying the crisis,'” the Federalist said Thursday.
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told the Washington Examiner that the idea of attacking Trump on coronavirus response seems ludicrous.
“It is laughable that his allies would launch this attack when Americans can see for themselves through daily public briefings that President Trump and his team are on the case and have been so since before Joe Biden even woke up to the situation,” Murtaugh noted.