WASHINGTON (SBG) – In the latest ad from the Trump campaign entitled "What Happened to Joe Biden", clips from Biden's past are shown next to more recent ones, showing a stumbling presidential candidate who appears forgetful.
The words "What happened to Joe Biden" appear at the end, a clear attack on Biden's cognitive abilities. Top GOP officials say ads like this are fair game.
In an interview Wednesday, Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee said, "I think it’s fair to ask the question of somebody who wants to be our Commander-in-Chief, if you can’t take tough questions for them the American press, how are you going to go up against Putin and Xi?"
Biden’s supporters -- including his wife Dr. Jill Biden -- dispute the claims, telling NBC's Savannah Guthrie, "He doesn’t stop from 9 in the morning until 11 at night so that's ridiculous.”
Political analysts say the line of attack could backfire.
"There are plenty of video and camera in moments in which President Trump appears to have cognitive difficulties or is seen stumbling," said political analyst Lara Brown, who directs the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University.
Critics highlight President Donald Trump's April 23 coronavirus Task Force briefing in which he suggested people could benefit by injecting disinfectant.
You can go back decades and see that poll after presidential poll show voters don’t like negative attack ads, and yet they still being used.
So why is that? The short answer is, they work.
"There is a desire to brand one’s opponent with a depiction that will persist throughout the campaign," Brown said, pointing to the Obama campaign’s multiple ads painting Mitt Romney as out-of-touch, including telling a crowd, "All this talk about class size is promoted by teachers unions to hire more teachers." This was followed by teachers saying, "Come be in a classroom with 5th graders and tell me class size doesn’t matter.”
Historians also point to President George W Bush, portraying then Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, as a flip-flopper.
"He voted for the 87 billion to support our troops before he voted against it," on campaign ad said, showing Kerry windsurfing.
This ad has now been resurrected, but instead of Kerry windsurfing, it's Trump on his golf cart.
"Trump’s promise, keep America safe. Trump’s course: the most coronavirus cases in the world," a voice says as the same background music as the old ad plays in the background.
The business of branding is not new to politics and is now back for another round in 2020.