Clinton Uses Trump’s Words Against Him in First General-Election Adby
Hillary Clinton is ramping up the fight against Donald Trump with her first TV advertisement of the general election, hitting the presumptive Republican nominee for what she terms his divisive rhetoric.
“Today, we face a choice about who we are as a nation,” Clinton says at the start of the one-minute spot, which goes on to juxtapose Trump’s words condoning violence and mocking a journalist who has a physical disability, with a more inclusive message from Clinton, who last week became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
She is framing the race as a choice between her vision of a country that is “stronger together” and what she sees as Trump’s more adversarial approach to leadership. She plans to lay out the contrasts in a speech on Monday in Cleveland, which hosts the Republican National Convention in July.
The ad features clips from Trump rallies, including one in which he says of a protester, “I’d like to punch him in the face” and another in which he encourages the crowd to “knock the crap out of” protesters. There’s also a clip of Trump doing an impression of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a disability affecting his arms, featuring the candidate flailing his own arms.
“Do we help each other? Do we respect each other? Do we stand together?” Clinton asks in voiceovers after each Trump vignette before rebutting her opponent’s approach, saying that she believes “it’s wrong to pit people against each other.”
There’s already been “enough partisan division and gridlock,” Clinton says, adding that she hopes to bring the country together with “some simple, common goals,” including building an economy that works for everyone, and working with allies around the world.
“What kind of America do we want to be? Dangerously divided or strong and united?” she asks at the end of the ad. “I believe we are always stronger together.”
The spot will start airing in battleground states on Thursday. Clinton's campaign plans to announce more details about the ad buy later this week.
Trump said on Twitter Sunday that Clinton's video was "a false ad."
"I was imitating a reporter GROVELING after he changed his story," Trump said. "I would NEVER Moch disabled. Shame!"
He later deleted the tweet and replaced it with one that correctly spelled the word "mock."
After her trip to Ohio on Monday, Clinton will campaign at a union hall in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and with President Barack Obama in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Wednesday. The Clinton campaign has also mapped out her travel for the week of June 20, including stops in Hampton Roads, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Columbus, Ohio.